ODOT project to ease I-475/U.S. 23 split in Sylvania Township


ODOT expects to start work in early 2014 on a project that will eliminate a troublesome weaving traffic pattern on southbound I-475/U.S. 23 between the 475-23 split and Central Avenue in Sylvania Township.

A new piece of roadway would be built in the grassy area that lies in between the current through-traffic lanes for northbound and southbound U.S. 23. It would carry traffic headed from southbound U.S. 23 toward southbound I-475/U.S. 23, while existing southbound U.S. 23 would be realigned as the exit ramp for Central.

Traffic headed from westbound I-475 to the Central exit would cross over to that ramp before the I-475 merge point with southbound U.S. 23, separating two streams of traffic that now weave across each other between the freeway merge point and the Central exit.

“The weave is eliminated, and we alleviate the backups on westbound I-475, too,” said Mike Stormer, the district planning engineer at ODOT’s Bowling Green office.

The latter result is expected because the ramp realignment will allow two lanes of westbound I-475 to continue past the ramp to northbound U.S. 23, whereas the right lane now is reserved for traffic heading north. That forces all motorists heading south to queue up in the left lane, causing backups that sometimes stretch back several miles to Talmadge Road.

ODOT expects the $12 million project to be finished in early 2015. About 43,000 cars and trucks use the affected portion of I-475/U.S. 23 on an average day, according to the transportation department.