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Published: Wednesday, 6/8/2005

Closing of section of Secor Road for 1 week worries councilman

The city of Toledo plans to shut down Secor Road between Laskey Road and Sylvania Avenue for a week starting Monday for reconstruction of a culvert, city officials said yesterday.

It's part of a drainage-ditch improvement project City Council approved last fall.

But closing Secor for a week drew the ire yesterday of a councilman who said the detour will cause traffic and medical-response trouble.

Betty Shultz said emergency crews heading for the Toledo Clinic, at 4235 Secor Rd., and St. Anne Mercy Hospital, 3404 West Sylvania Ave., could be delayed. And she said traffic will wind up on Douglas Road and clog the Douglas-Sylvania-Tremainsville Road intersection.

"It annoyed me as a city councilwoman not to have knowledge," Mrs. Shultz said.

But city officials said they discussed the plans with the fire and police departments, and with St. Anne's and Toledo Clinic.

Bill Franklin, the city's assistant chief operating officer, said the one-week shutdown was preferable to the alternative, which was to restrict traffic on four-lane Secor to one lane each way for three to four weeks, at an added cost of about $165,000.

Mr. Franklin said the posted detour will use Laskey and Talmadge roads and Monroe Street, though he conceded some motorists probably will use Douglas, Harvest Lane, or side streets to shorten their route.

Emily Barry, a spokesman for St. Anne's, said the one-week shutdown is not likely to create a problem, "especially since it's short-term, just a week."

With the hospital being south of the work site, only traffic to or from the north will be affected. The hospital received a memo from the city about the project on Friday, she said.

Mr. Franklin said if the weather is good, Secor could reopen ahead of schedule.

The culvert replacement is part of a $1.83 million city contract held by the George Gradel Co. of Toledo, to straighten and widen the Tifft Ditch between Secor and Talmadge. Part of the ditch, which now floods streets and basements in heavy storms, will be moved into a tunnel under a stretch of Quinton Avenue.

Other residential streets in a neighborhood east of Secor and behind St. Anne's will be affected by the Tifft project, though any closings will last no longer than an hour or two, said Hussein Abounaaj, the city commissioner of engineering services.



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