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Published: Tuesday, 7/24/2007

Craig Bridge changes will take 3 years, Council told

The state will take three years to complete a $25 million project to convert the Craig Bridge to local traffic and park uses now that the new I-280 span is complete, Toledo City Council was told yesterday.

That project will likely involve some closures of the bridge in late 2008 but should not coincide with closures of the Martin Luther King Jr., Bridge, set for next winter, said Gary Weinandy, city administrator of engineering services.

Mr. Weinandy was called in front of council to answer concerns from Councilman Mike Craig of East Toledo on whether the Craig and King bridges would be closed at the same time. A vote on contributing the city's share of about $1 million for the project is set for today's regular meeting of council.

Mr. Weinandy said the project, for which $24 million is being paid for by the Ohio Department of Transportation, will begin in November with the awarding of contracts.

He said the general plan is to use 2008 to fill the trench once used by I-280. Also next year, the intersections of Craig Bridge Street and Summit and Front streets would be rebuilt at grade level.

In 2009, the North Toledo streets and waterlines that were severed in the 1950s by the "Detroit-Toledo Expressway" and connected by bridges would be reconnected at grade. Those are Ash, Erie, Michigan, Huron, and Ontario streets.

In 2010, a linear park following the path of the former I-280 approaches beneath the new I-280 approaches would be developed, with a bike/hike path and landscaping.

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