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Published: Sunday, 7/3/2011

Closing set for turnpike plazas near Swanton

BEREA, Ohio -- With new service plazas in Williams County gradually opening, the Ohio Turnpike Commission has given its staff authority to close the plazas near Swanton just east of the Fulton-Lucas county line.

The Fallen Timbers and Oak Openings plazas are the last ones dating back to the turnpike's 1955 opening to remain in use. The resolution that the turnpike commission passed Friday authorizes their closing "on or after" Dec. 1.

The resolution states that it is the commission's "desire … to begin planning for their reconstruction" but sets no timetable for building replacements. The original Indian Meadow and Tiffin River plazas in Williams County closed in 2006, but construction of their replacements did not start until last year.

Closing the two Swanton plazas will create a 56-mile gap between the Williams County facilities and the Blue Heron and Wyandot plazas in Sandusky County, east of the I-280 interchange.

Also Friday, the turnpike commission awarded a $1.27 million contract to Kokosing Construction Co. Inc. of Columbus to repair the approaches on the Jacobs Road bridge over the toll road in Sandusky County and a 0.2-mile section of the turnpike's main line near the Fremont interchange where embankments have partially collapsed.

Kokosing's bid for the contract was the lowest of six the commission received.

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