4 projects planned on Sylvania Avenue east of McCord Road

1/20/2013
BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
A familiar sight: Traffic exiting eastbound I-75 at the Corey Road exit in Sylvania.
A familiar sight: Traffic exiting eastbound I-75 at the Corey Road exit in Sylvania.

A two-mile stretch of Sylvania Avenue east of McCord Road will be a busy place for road construction this year.

Not only is the Ohio Department of Transportation planning to modify Sylvania’s intersection with Whiteford and Corey roads to improve traffic flow at the Corey interchange on I-475, the Lucas County Engineer’s Office has three other projects planned on Sylvania in that part of Sylvania Township.

Sylvania is scheduled for resurfacing between Holland-Sylvania and Whiteford roads; for widening between Holland-Sylvania and the U.S. 23 overpass, and for bridge repairs at the Ottawa River bridge near Camp Miakonda.

“It’ll be a busy year," County Engineer Keith Earley said. "It’ll be an inconvenience, but there’s not much you can do about it."

The resurfacing work is likely to be done mostly at night, but the other two projects will require detours, said Jeff Lohse, chief deputy at the county engineer’s office.

First to occur is a two-week shutdown of Sylvania at the Ottawa River bridge, which normally carries about 20,000 cars and trucks per day.

It will probably close during the second week of July, Mr. Lohse said.

Shutting it down to all traffic will allow repairs to be completed in 14 days instead of 40, the chief deputy said, and cut $100,000 off the project’s cost.

The contractor may opt to do a lot of the paving work while the bridge is closed, to take advantage of the absence of traffic, Mr. Lohse said.


A contract for the bridge work and paving, expected to cost about $760,000, is scheduled for award by late March, Mr. Earley said. He noted that the work originally was scheduled for 2016, but it was sped up because of delays in the planning for other projects.

The bridge work is expected primarily to be deck repairs, but any other problems that are found will be taken caare of, the county engineer said.

The widening west of Holland-Sylvania represents an extension of work the county did three years ago at the Holland-Sylvania intersection, which included widening Sylvania’s western approach.

The widening, expected to cost $440,000, will create a center left-turn lane for 0.22 mile between Lancelot Road/Oak Park Drive and the freeway overpass.

The finished product will be 45 feet wide, including five-foot bike lanes on both sides, Mr. Lohse said.

The widening project is scheduled for the construction season's second half, after the work east of Holland-Sylvania is done, and will require westbound traffic to be shut down for about 2½ weeks followed by a two-week eastbound closing, he said.

Most of the work will be within the county's existing right-of-way, but three small land condemnations have been required at the U.S. 23 end of the project.

Several property owners at a recent hearing about the project questioned why the work couldn’t have all been done in 2010 and complained that driveways they had since built would be damaged.

County officials said scheduling was based on grant funding, and that driveway damage within the county right-of-way will be restored.

ODOT, meanwhile, announced last month it plans to widen the Corey and Whiteford approaches to those roads’ intersections with Sylvania and upgrade traffic signals there. That work is part of a $1 million to $2 million project to improve traffic flow and reduce collisions at I-475's Corey and Talmadge Road ramps.

The state expects to award a contract for its project in June, with completion in time for the November start of heavy Christmas shopping at nearby Westfield Franklin Park mall.

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