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Published: 4/21/2009

Toledo gets $9.4M for street repair

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Repair or reconstruction of Toledo's crumbling streets got a $9.4 million boost yesterday from the federal and state economic-stimulus campaigns, enough to rebuild an estimated 11.3 miles of major streets and refurbish 11.17 miles more, the Finkbeiner administration announced.

The largest chunk from the grants - $2.88 million in federal funds - will go toward rebuilding Secor Road between Laskey Road and Monroe Street, and $2.25 million is scheduled to pay for rebuilding Hill Avenue between Westwood Avenue and Fearing Boulevard.

And downtown Toledo commuters who use Michigan Street to reach the Anthony Wayne Trail should be pleased by the assignment of $1,675,000 to rebuild that pothole-riddled thoroughfare between Madison Avenue and Lafayette Street.

Construction will start as soon as possible, said Don Moline, the city's commissioner of engineering services.

"We're ready to go forward. The ability to turn these around within 90 days" of the grant awards was a program condition, Mr. Moline said.

Although some of the streets to be rebuilt are currently surfaced in concrete, the engineering commissioner said, all of the reconstruction will be done with asphalt except, in some cases, for concrete pavement approaching intersections where asphalt is prone to shoving and rutting from braking trucks.

"Nobody can afford to do a concrete street any more - at least, we can't," Mr. Moline said.

Overall, the city now has targeted 31.65 miles of streets for reconstruction or repair this year, although some of those projects may not be finished during the current construction season and the number does not include projects carried over from last year. Actual street mileage is somewhat less because most of the work is planned for streets with four or more lanes, which the city counts double when tallying its repair mileage.

City officials had budgeted about $10.4 million from regular state and federal funding sources to rebuild about 19 miles of streets this year, including parts of Hill, Detroit Avenue, Glendale Avenue, and Dorr Street, plus streets near the new downtown Toledo sports arena.

The stimulus grants will extend the repair work on Detroit and adjoining Telegraph Road and, along with the large projects on Secor, Hill, and Michigan, cover rebuilding shorter sections of Nebraska Avenue and South Avenue.

The package includes "preventive maintenance" resurfacing expected to cost $662,000, but Mr. Moline said he did not yet have a final list of which streets will be included in that program.

"These will be streets that are in reasonably good condition, but we need to get them before they go bad," the engineering commissioner said. "The repairs will extend their life another seven to 10 years."

The grant announced yesterday accounts for about one third of the funding city officials had requested for transportation projects through the state and federal stimulus programs, and Mr. Moline said he hopes further grants might be forthcoming - especially if other communities are unable to meet start-up deadlines for their projects.

"I'm pleased with getting any more money," he said. "Trying to fix $80 million worth of problems every year with $20 million is troublesome. But in times like these, you're grateful for a penny."

Contact David Patch at:

dpatch@theblade.com

or 419-724-6094.



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