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Published: Friday, 4/1/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

ProMedica Parkway's first new ramp opens

Closings at Douglas Road coming in April

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Opening the new westbound I-475 entrance ramp from ProMedica Parkway allowed the Ohio Department of Transportation to permanently close the westbound I-475 entrance from Upton Avenue. Opening the new westbound I-475 entrance ramp from ProMedica Parkway allowed the Ohio Department of Transportation to permanently close the westbound I-475 entrance from Upton Avenue.
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The first of four new ramps at the future ProMedica Parkway interchange on I-475 in West Toledo has opened, and Ohio Department of Transportation officials say motorists in the freeway's long-term construction zone can expect to see more changes during the coming weeks.

Opening the westbound I-475 entrance from the new roadway, which when finished will arc from Upton Avenue at Georgia Avenue to Central Avenue at the former Oatis Avenue, allowed construction crews to close permanently the westbound entrance from Upton.

The new interchange at ProMedica Parkway is a centerpiece of ODOT's $64 million I-475 reconstruction project between I-75 and Rushland Avenue. It replaces a mishmash of four ramps that includes a westbound exit to Jackman Road and an eastbound exit to Westland Avenue that, for now, remain open. They'll close later this year as soon as the ProMedica ramps are finished.

The new roadway's bridge over I-475 won't open until late next year, at the soonest.

Overall, E.S. Wagner, the ODOT contractor for the project, made reasonable construction progress over the last few months despite a harsher than normal winter, said Dennis Charvat, the transportation department's project engineer.

"They did lose some days here and there because of the heavy snows, but they're really going to get back onto it now," he said.

For many West Toledo commuters, the most daunting change will occur sometime in mid-April, when two ramps at Douglas Road, a westbound exit and an eastbound entrance, will be closed. For eastbound traffic, that will leave no I-475 entrances east of Secor Road, because the Monroe Street and Central/Upton entrances already are closed.

The Central/Upton entrance closed last August when the freeway work began because, unlike the other ramps to be relocated, it was in the way of its replacement, which also is scheduled for completion late this year.

The Monroe entrance closed because it joins the freeway close to where the work zone begins, creating what officials said would be an unsafe merge. It will remain closed through next year, as will closed ramps at the Jeep Parkway/Willys Parkway interchange near the I-475/I-75 junction.

More immediately, I-475 motorists should expect brief traffic suspensions in the work area to continue during the overnight hours Friday night and next week while overhead bridges are taken down. A footbridge and an abandoned railroad bridge are being removed, as is the Sherbrooke Road overpass.

The Sherbrooke bridge will be replaced next year, and a lighter-duty bridge may later be put up along the railroad alignment for use by pedestrians and cyclists.

Work hours for the bridge demolitions are 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Contact David Patch at: dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.



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