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TEMPERANCE - Paranoid Bedford Township commuters may sense a conspiracy against them in the coming weeks as they try to traverse their way to Toledo.
Through a series of coincidences - some planned, some not - four of the five main north-south arteries between Toledo and its largest suburb are likely to be filled with orange barrels, flagmen, and "Road Closed" signs over the next six weeks.
Telegraph, Jackman, and Secor roads and Lewis Avenue all have major reconstruction projects on them in various stages of development:
●The Ohio Department of Transportation's $508,000 bridge replacement at Halfway Creek at Telegraph and the state line;
●A $720,000 project rebuilding Jackman Road between Smith and Sterns roads. The local share of that cost is $150,000.
●A $265,000 project adding turn lanes at the intersection of Secor and Summerfield roads. The local share is $45,000, and the federal share is $140,000.
●Bids for a major "mill and fill" project repaving the five lanes of Lewis between the state line and just north of Sterns are to be opened Sept. 27 with the work expected to begin in October. It is estimated to cost $800,000, with the township paying $400,000 of it.
The resulting quagmire of intersecting detours is sure to enrage motorists, and local officials say they expect to hear an earful from them.
"For a little while at least, there will be some conflicts, and I'm sure people are going to let us know about them," said Bill Miller the director of regulatory and engineering services for the Monroe County Road Commission. "We always have [traffic coordination] in the back of our mind, but to be truthful, I don't know how much coordination there's been on that."
All four projects are within 2.5 miles of the state line, and are on roads that are some of the busiest in Monroe County. Secor and Lewis have average daily traffic counts of more than 14,000 vehicles, Mr. Miller said.
Bedford Township Supervisor LaMar Frederick said he anticipates a flurry of phone calls from frustrated motorists to the township hall. But he said that even though the roads are within his jurisdiction, the projects aren't his jurisdiction.
"We don't schedule this stuff," Mr. Frederick said. "I'm sure we're going to get a flood of phone calls from citizens who are going to find it tough to get home. We hope our citizens will be patient until Lewis is finished and Secor/Summerfield is finished. They'll just have to be patient coming through our township."
The work rebuilding the five-lane portion of Lewis between the state line and just north of Sterns Road was to have been largely completed or at least well under way by now, but Mr. Miller said the road commission ran into problems when it determined that the township's main commercial corridor was in worse shape than expected.
"Because of increased traffic over the last few years, [Lewis] really needs a thicker layer of bituminous [asphalt]. But we can't add to the top because of the curb and gutter," Mr. Miller explained.
Consequently, when the bid is awarded for the project, it will call for the milling process to dig deeper into the road bed to get the amount of asphalt down that it needs.41.77877 -83.56882