Two busy blocks of Monroe Street will close today for reconstruction, forcing commuters to find alternate routes.
The closing will mark the start of a $1.35 million project to rebuild Monroe between Michigan and Summit streets in three phases. The first phase involves Monroe from Erie Street to Michigan.
Unlike the current resurfacing of Erie Street between Monroe and Cherry streets, the Monroe project will be a complete reconstruction. The finished product will resemble work done farther west on Monroe several years ago, including new sidewalks, decorative lighting, and landscaping.
B&J Concrete of Toledo holds the contract for the project.
About 21,000 vehicles use the closed section of Monroe a day, according to traffic data compiled by the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. Many are commuters who use outbound Monroe to reach I-75 via Michigan Street for southbound traffic and via 14th Street for northbound traffic.
Alternate routes during construction include Washington Street, Madison Avenue, or Adams Street to Michigan or 14th.
Later project phases will close Monroe between Erie and Huron streets, and finally between Huron and Summit. Dates for those phases depend on when the first phase is done, but city officials have promised the final phase, which runs past Fifth Third Field, won't begin until the Toledo Mud Hens' season ends.