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Published: Friday, 9/5/2008

Last major contract awarded for Skyway

BLADE STAFF

The last big contract associated with the Veterans' Glass City Skyway and I-280 construction has been awarded.

The Ohio Department of Transportation yesterday announced the award of a $21,245,747.53 contract to Posen Construction Inc., of Shelby Township, Michigan, to fill in and landscape the trench in which I-280 formerly passed through Toledo's north end and reconfigure the Craig Memorial Bridge and its approaches.

The latter element will include the creation of Tribute Park in East Toledo, a memorial to five construction workers killed in accidents during the $237 million bridge's construction.

Establishing the memorial and rejoining the north end's divided neighborhood are "just as important" as the bridge itself, David Dysard, ODOT's district deputy director in Bowling Green, said as he announced the contract.

Posen's bid was 28 percent lower than the state's estimate of $29.525 million for the project.

Construction is expected to begin next month and take two years to complete.

It will require closing the Craig to all traffic for up to 240 days while its deck is renovated and its traffic pattern changed to accommodate a bicycle-pedestrian lane and intersections, instead of interchanges at either end.

Theresa Pollick, an ODOT spokesman, said the bridge closing has not been scheduled.

Public meetings about the project will be held once state officials and the contractor establish the construction schedule, she said. Two-way traffic will be maintained on Front and Summit streets during the work, using the northeast-bound lanes on both roads.

Other city streets that cross the I-280 trench will be closed at various times during construction while the trench is filled in. When they reopen, those streets will cross at grade level through a park to be created where I-280 traffic once rumbled.

The Champlain Street bridge and railroad bridge at the park's north end will remain, and the park gradually will descend to pass beneath them. A park bike path will lead to Greenbelt Parkway.

Fill dirt will come from mounds built up near the Summit/I-280 interchange during the course of Skyway construction and from a large mound, colloquially called Mount Northwood, that accumulated early this decade near the Woodville Road interchange on I-280.

Some of Mount Northwood's 80,000 to 100,000 cubic yards of earth came from excavation of the Fifth Third Field site.

ODOT expects to use about 60,000 cubic yards from the Northwood pile to fill the I-280 trench, Ms. Pollick said.

Whatever is left over will be regraded to integrate it with the Woodville interchange.

- David Patch



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