Despite tight budget conditions, Toledo is keeping its goal of repaving 30 miles of city streets annually - and living up to it this year by having the state pick up a big chunk of the tab.
Resurfacing all of Anthony Wayne Trail in Toledo accounts for 16.57 miles of this year's 30.9-mile paving program, and 80 percent of that project's $1.84 million cost will be coming from an Ohio Department of Transportation grant, said Kent Gardam, the city's manager of transportation engineering.
“It's a very lucrative match from the state of Ohio,” said Peter Gerken, an at-large city councilman who lives near the Trail in South Toledo. “In tight times, that's a good thing to have. People in other parts of the city may say there are other streets in worse condition, but this is something we need to take advantage of.”
A contract with Miller Brothers Construction of Archbold is pending, and work should begin in early August, Mr. Gardam said. Most work will be done at night; daytime lane closings will be scheduled to avoid rush hours. It is to be completed Oct. 15.
While the drive from the Maumee city line to Collingwood Boulevard is only 81/4 miles, the Trail has six lanes most of the way and therefore counts double toward the mileage goal. Streets with four or more lanes count double. Such streets on this year's program include Dorr between Westwood Avenue and Reynolds Road, a nearly three-mile stretch that credits 5.9 miles toward the goal; Alexis Road between Telegraph Road and Raintree Lane, 2.5 miles, and Sylvania Avenue between Monroe Street and Crary Drive, one mile.
East Broadway between Woodville Road and the Northwood line, a two-lane arterial street, is in the program, and some final paving work around Fifth Third Field, the new Mud Hens stadium in downtown Toledo, will add a small boost to the mileage total.
Two other projects listed in the program aren't scheduled to be finished until next year, so they won't count toward this year's mileage. They are a modernization of the Secor and Laskey roads intersection and reconstruction of the Manhattan Boulevard bridge over I-280. The latter is part of ODOT's I-280 widening program.
The Anthony Wayne Trail resurfacing originally was to be done last year, but city officials postponed it by a year because the project needed additional engineering.
Mr. Gerken said the postponement occurred because Toledo lost several of its staff engineers last year to higher-paying jobs with the county or state, and consequently revised the 2001 street program to concentrate on residential streets that weren't as complicated to resurface.
Councilman Rob Ludeman, whose district includes South Toledo, said he hopes police will step up enforcement on Broadway and River Road to deter speeding during the Trail project - a possibility that worries people who live along those streets. “There may be a tendency for folks to use River Road and Broadway who might normally use the Trail,” Mr. Ludeman said.
Both councilmen mentioned Byrne Road between Detroit Avenue and Heatherdowns Boulevard as a street in need of resurfacing that has been delayed, in a domino effect, by the Trail project's one-year postponement. Mr. Gardam said the engineering services division's plans call for Byrne to be resurfaced there in 2004, and the stretch between Glendale Avenue and Airport Highway is scheduled for next year - “but that's always subject to change,” he added.
Other road projects planned this year are: