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Published: Saturday, 4/27/2002

Airport Highway widening to begin

Work starts tomorrow night on a $9.16 million widening of Airport Highway in the Spring Meadows area of Springfield Township, and full-time lane closings will start May 6, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced yesterday.

For at least the first month, work will be done only at the Airport Highway interchange with I-475/U.S. 23, but other construction - particularly at the Wolf Creek bridge near the El Matador restaurant - could start in June, said Joe Rutherford, ODOT spokesman.

Work will start with the erection of wooden scaffolding on the Airport Highway bridge over the interstate. Between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. nightly, single-lane closings will be required on I-475/U.S. 23 while this work and concrete cutting on the bridge are done. The first week's lane closings will be on the freeway's northbound side, Mr. Rutherford said.

Lane closings on Airport Highway will begin on May 6, with eastbound traffic to be shifted to the westbound side while the eastbound half of the bridge is renovated. Work on the eastbound lanes is expected to take about three months to finish, after which the westbound half will be done, Mr. Rutherford said.

Construction will reduce Airport, which is part of State Rt. 2, to a single lane each way at the bridge. Traffic congestion may be severe at times because that part of Airport Highway is the busiest nonfreeway road in Lucas County.

The bridge renovations are part of a broader ODOT project to widen Airport from four or five lanes to six between I-475/U.S. 23 and Holloway Road.

The start of work at the Wolf Creek bridge depends on how quickly relocation of power lines and underground utilities in the area is finished, Mr. Rutherford said.

Construction is scheduled to continue through November, 2004, but Mr. Rutherford said that the contractor, Miller Brothers of Archbold, indicated at a construction planning meeting Thursday it may be finished as much as a year early.

ODOT has scheduled a public meeting for 2 p.m. Friday in the Springfield Township Hall to report on the project and answer questions, Mr. Rutherford said. The presentation will be oriented toward business owners and operators along Airport Highway, but anyone may attend, he said.

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