Hallett Avenue Overpass to open


SWANTON -- The new Hallett Avenue Overpass is scheduled to open by 3 p.m. today following a morning dedication ceremony.

The $8.6 million Ohio Department of Transportation project, largest in village history and funded primarily with a federal "stimulus" grant, "took a lot of years, a lot of great planning, and a lot of cooperation," Mayor Ann Roth said during the ceremony.

The bridge carries Hallett Avenue over the Norfolk Southern Railroad's main line between Toledo and Chicago, used by about 70 to 80 trains on a normal day. Several trains passed under it during the dedication.

"This project will have a positive impact on the village of Swanton for years to come," Village Administrator Jon Gochenour said, citing "improved access for the business community," the end of train delays for commuters and school buses, and timely response for local police and firefighters.

Contractor Miller Brothers Construction, of Archbold, started work in late 2010 and finished seven months ahead of schedule.

"Our currency at ODOT is safety and time," said Theresa Pollick, an ODOT spokesman from the Bowling Green district office.

The ceremony concluded with the Swanton High School marching band, assembled despite school not being in session today, parading across the bridge followed by police and fire vehicles.