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Published: Saturday, 12/23/2006

Bus stop, part of walkway are demolished downtown

BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A section of the enclosed pedestrian walkway that connects much of Toledo's downtown riverfront from One SeaGate to the SeaGate Centre has been removed.

The overhead glass-enclosed walkway above Madison Avenue at Summit Street and an enclosed TARTA bus station were taken down by a city contractor in the last two months. Cleanup is continuing.

The walkway connected Edison Plaza with the Riverview Apartments building.

James Gee, general manager of the regional transit authority, said the bus stop and the escalator were damaged in a fire in 2005. TARTA opted to demolish rather than repair the structure.

More importantly, he said, the demolition of the two-story steel and glass structure opens the vista from Madison to the river - a goal of the city's downtown Toledo master plan.

TARTA contributed $65,000 it received in a federal beautification grant to the city's $179,000 demolition cost. City council is set to vote Jan. 2 to accept the $65,000.

Mr. Gee said the bus waiting area has been moved down the block closer to Jefferson Avenue in front of Port Lawrence Garage.

Ali Abdou, owner of B's Market in the Riverview Apartments building, said the bus stop was misused by some people.

"It was a problem," he said, of the activities that took place inside the bus stop. "It makes it look better," Mr. Abdou said.

The demolition doesn't affect the rest of the concourse, including the pedestrian bridge connecting Edison Plaza with KeyBank across Summit.

The concourse and bus station were built in 1983 for $2.1 million, part of a network that grew to include several more overpasses and underground concourses. Eighty percent of the $2.1 million came from a federal grant, and Toledo Edison and the former Toledo Trust Co. split the rest.

It was hoped the walkway would make downtown shopping more attractive.

Kenneth Neidert, the city's commissioner of fleet and facilities, said there are no plans to take down the overpass between KeyBank and Edison Plaza.

"A lot of people use that," he said.

"Once they redo Levis Square with new lights, trees, it'll be a pretty nice look. You'll be able to sit in the plaza and see the river," he said.

Contact Tom Troy at:

tomtroy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6058.



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