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Corey intersection project moved ahead by trustees

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The lot next door to the home of Chris Davies on Corey Road has already been cleared.

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Chris Davies moved into her Corey Road Cape Cod home on Thanksgiving Day, 1975.

Over the years she has enjoyed the country-style setting, raised a family, and saw four families live next door at 4102 Corey in Sylvania Township.

Two months ago the nurse anesthetist returned home from work in Adrian to find the house demolished, signaling another step, and in her opinion an unwanted step, in a controversial road relocation project for Corey and Whiteford roads.

“When I bought this home, it was out in the country,” Ms. Davies said last week. “I can show you houses that weren't there. Sylvania Avenue was only two lanes. When they expanded that, the dirt blew into the pool,” she said.

The dirt is primed to fly again.

Last week township trustees voted to advertise for construction bids to move the intersection north for safety reasons.

The project would alter the intersection to make it easier to make left turns onto Corey from northbound Whiteford. There is only room for two vehicles to line up to turn left. The plan would allow seven vehicles in the lane. Corey residents say the project would encourage more people to use their streets as a shortcut to Monroe Street.

“I don't like it at all,” Ms. Davies said. “It's not going to accomplish anything, and we all know that. I have never encountered a problem getting on Corey.”

And part of her driveway seems to be in the way.

She also has concerns about her septic system with the proposed construction that could start as early as June.

Trustees have listened to opposition for months and have looked into alternatives, but those ideas were adverse and undesirable, according to recent traffic studies by Lucas County authorities, who say:

  • Using a flashing light at the intersection would not enhance motorist awareness, traffic operations, or safety. Engineers say a flashing light would confuse southbound traffic with the signal so close to Sylvania Avenue.

  • Closing the far right southbound lane of Whiteford would have a “significant adverse” effect on the curb lane of westbound Sylvania Avenue and reduce the service provided. Discouraging use of Whiteford, the principal north-sound road in the immediate area, is “undesirable.”

    Last month officials used barrels to block the right lane.

    Southbound traffic backed up to Cherrington Avenue, or about a half-mile, during checks last month, according to the Lucas County engineer's office.

    “Once the traffic backs up, people do things you don't expect them to do,” Lucas County Engineer Keith Earley said. Moving the intersection would cause less conflict, and it should be moved, he said.

  • Reducing the 35 mph speed limit, in place since 1956, is not justified based on the criteria such as the road's features and speed checks.

    In fact, the numbers suggest it could be raised to to 45 mph.

    However, a speeding problem does exist, say engineers who recommended additional enforcement from the township police.

    Meanwhile, residents are mounting opposition.

    “The time for talking is over,” said Tom Sussman who leads the fight against the project. “I'm not going to come up with some magical words that could convince them this project should stop. I'm looking to raise funds for a legal battle. If those funds materialize, we will move forward,” Mr. Sussman said.

    Trustees will create more of a traffic problem by allowing multifamily homes to be built near the intersection of Wilford and Central Avenue, he said.

    County records show an average of eight accidents from 1996 to 1998 at Corey and Whiteford, but 14 accidents during the same time period at Wilford and Central.

    But any changes at Central and Wilford would come from the state. Central Avenue - also U.S. 20 and State Rt. 120 -is maintained by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

    Whiteford is controlled by the county.

    Trustees should focus their attention elsewhere, Mr. Sussman said.

    “I think it's [the Corey Road project] a waste, and the township has bigger fish to fry,” Mr. Sussman said.

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