An off-duty corrections officer was killed in 2017 at County Road 46 and Smith Road in Hopewell.
HOPEWELL — The intersection where an Ontario County sheriff’s deputy was killed in a crash nearly three years ago may have a roundabout in its near future.
The intersection of County Road 46 and Smith Road has had a high number of crashes over the years, according to county and state officials. The most high profile of them involved Deputy Joshua Shaver, a 35-year-old off-duty corrections officer who was killed in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection in 2017.
The accident rate there is three times higher than the safety average rate for similar locations and 22 percent of accidents over the last seven years have resulted in injuries, officials said.
An open house for the public to learn more about the proposed $2.5 million project, scheduled for early April, has been cancelled because of concerns over the coronavirus, according to Timothy McElligott, an engineer with the county Department of Public Works.
But, the county is working on a plan for a virtual open house, McElligott said, which has not been scheduled as of yet.
If all goes according to plan, work is expected to begin in spring 2021, McElligott said. The intersection would be closed for roughly three months to allow work to be completed, and detours would be posted.
The roundabout would replace the two existing stop signs and help to improve safety by reducing motorists’ speeds and lessening the severity of crashes, according to McElligott.
“They really do a great job at mitigating high-speed, right-angle crashes,” McElligott said.
Since the fatal crash, the county has erected signs with flashing beacons as an interim safety measure.
“We have been looking at that intersection and making steady improvements,” McElligott said. “They haven’t reduced accidents to zero.”
Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson said he agrees with the county and the state on the need to improve the intersection.
As has been seen at other county intersections with roundabouts, they help lessen the severity of injuries in the event a crash occurs, Henderson said.
“They are designed for low speeds,” Henderson said.
Hopewell already is home to several roundabouts, including on nearby County Road 10. Others in the county are in place or about to be.
In Victor, clearing has begun for a roundabout at Route 96 and Lynaugh Road. Work could begin this year to construct a roundabout at what is considered another of the county’s dangerous intersections, at Shortsville Road and County Road 28.
The public will have opportunities to provide input on the proposed Hopewell roundabout. A comment sheet is available at https://www.co.ontario.ny.us/1798/County-Road-46-Smith-Road-Improvements.