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Published: Sunday, 6/16/2013

Construction starts next month on I-475 exit, Corey Road improvements

1 Sylvania Twp. trustee questions whether traffic problems will worsen

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Kevin Haddad, a Sylvania Township trustee, said the ODOT project for the I-475 exit and for Corey Road will create traffic problems. Kevin Haddad, a Sylvania Township trustee, said the ODOT project for the I-475 exit and for Corey Road will create traffic problems.
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Construction is to start next month to widen the I-475 eastbound exit ramp at Corey Road and to widen Corey Road just to the north before and just past Sylvania Avenue.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has a $1 million upgrade project to improve the bottleneck of traffic that sometimes occurs on the I-475 exit ramp and then on Corey Road from motorists turning left off of the expressway ramp.

The interchange is partly in Sylvania Township and partly in Toledo. The Corey-Sylvania intersection also borders on both communities. State traffic counts from last year show 5,500 vehicles a day use the I-475 exit ramp and about 5,300 use the Corey Road entrance ramp to westbound I-475.

The upgrades, a temporary solution for the high traffic area, include placing a light at the top of the eastbound I-475 exit, which now has a stop sign for the exit ramp and is through traffic for Corey in both directions.

Theresa Pollick, public information officer for ODOT, said the new traffic light at the expressway exit ramp will be timed with the light at the Corey-Sylvania intersection to improve traffic flow. A second through lane northbound on Corey Road is also part of the construction plans. It will taper off on Whiteford Road, just north of Sylvania Avenue.

But Kevin Haddad, a Sylvania Township trustee, questions whether some of the project will make traffic problems worse. Specifically, he’s concerned about the two through lanes on northbound Corey Road just past Sylvania Avenue, and then the Corey-Whiteford road will be narrowed to just one lane.

“They are putting a band aid on something that needs a long term fix,” he said. "The bottleneck is just being pushed up further on Whiteford Road."

“This is a low cost short term countermeasure to address safety issues for vehicles stopped at the interstate at the Corey ramp,” Ms. Pollick said.

ODOT plans to review long-term solutions, but wanted to quick fix before the Christmas shopping season, where many more motorists exit I-475 at Corey to eventually make it to Westfield Franklin Park mall.

Sylvania Township Trustee John Jennewine said the township is working with ODOT to address its concerns, and that the township is happy that the state is spending dollars to relieve traffic in Sylvania Township.

Construction is to start in July and be completed by November. Ms. Pollick said that no roads will be closed during construction.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com


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