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Published: Wednesday, 8/11/2010

Officials discuss Rt. 2 aesthetics

BY ALIYYA SWABY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Representatives from the city of Oregon, Ohio Department of Transportation, Comfort Inn East, and Dunn Chevy Buick met Aug. 4 to discuss how to make State Rt. 2 safer, more convenient, and more attractive.

The renovations would make Oregon's primary commercial channel easier to navigate, drawing more visitors to the region, and preventing accidents, participants agreed.

The group discussed a proposal to install a "Welcome to Oregon" sign made from 8-foot granite boulders at the I-280 exit. They are looking to obtain a $20,000 state grant to pay for landscaping materials.

"The landscaping off of [Route] 2 is not only not attractive, but it is nasty," Andrea Beard, from the City of Oregon, said.

The proposed landscaping would showcase the community and give passers-by a positive image of the city, she said.

If the city representatives submit a detailed application, there would be no reason the request would not be approved at the district office, Layth Istefan of ODOT said.

Another item the group discussed was how to improve the general look of the exits and entrances on Route 2.

Because of reduced herbicide use across Ohio to prevent environmental pollution, weeds have taken over the I-280 exit ramp, ODOT representative David Dysard said.

ODOT will meet to discuss its vegetation plan that calls for certain herbicides in certain areas.

ODOT also will discuss the areas where it will plant grass seeds so they will grow by next spring, said John Tonsey of ODOT. One option is bluestem grass, which grows an extensive root system and gets rid of weeds, making herbicide unnecessary.

Safety was another important issue the group tackled.

Paul Roman, an engineer with Oregon, said access-management on Navarre Avenue has a few problems.

Left turns on Navarre and Wheeling have caused some complaints, Mr. Roman said, because of an apartment complex.

Mr. Roman said that one solution would be to position a boulevard in the avenue that would allow access through a series of U-turns.

Mr. Roman said the city's central office is working on a safety study, which would help secure a grant to fix the problem.

Contact Aliyya Swaby at:

Aswaby@theblade.com or

419-724-6050



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