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Published: Monday, 7/28/2003

U.S. 24 widening is topic of hearing

DEFIANCE - Expansion plans for U.S. 24 between Defiance and Napoleon will be the subject of an Ohio Department of Transportation hearing next week.

As part of a broader plan to create a four-lane U.S. 24 between Maumee and New Haven, Ind., the Ohio Department of Transportation plans to:

  • Add two lanes to the two-lane road between Defiance and Napoleon.

  • Build overpasses at Carpenter Road in Defiance and Glenwood Avenue in Napoleon.

  • Build an interchange at State Rt. 281/Domersville Road east of Defiance, which will require relocating portions of Elliott Road and building a service road between Elliott and Adams Ridge roads.

    All other intersections in that stretch would remain.

    The hearing is scheduled for Aug. 5. Displays of the proposal will be open to the public at 5:30 p.m. in the Hubbard Family Banquet Room at Defiance College's Serrick Campus Center, 701 North Clinton St., Defiance. A question-and-answer session will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the official hearing. All proceedings are expected to end by 8 p.m.

    “The hearing is one of the last steps in the process of choosing a preferred alignment for a new highway,” Norman Redick, ODOT's district deputy director in Lima, said in a statement. “Public input has been invaluable throughout this process, and we encourage it especially during these final stages.”

    Along with receiving testimony during the hearing, comments about the project may be mailed to the ODOT District 1 Planning Administrator, 1885 North McCullough St., Lima, Ohio, 45801. Comments must be received by Aug. 21 to become part of the official record.

    Unlike the sections between Napoleon and Maumee and between Defiance and New Haven, the Defiance-Napoleon section entails minimal new right-of-way.

    ODOT replaced old U.S. 24 along the Maumee River between those cities with a new, almost straight roadway during the 1960s and acquired land for a divided road at that time. Old U.S. 24 between Defiance and Napoleon became State Rt. 424.

    A hearing is likely sometime in September concerning the Defiance-New Haven section. A draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Maumee-Napoleon section is being prepared, with release and a hearing likely during the second half of 2004, said Mike Ligibel, planning administrator at ODOT's Bowling Green office.

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