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Some school parents were excited when they found the Sylvania-Metamora and Mitchaw roads intersection opened this week with a new roundabout.
The intersection was closed during the construction of the traffic circle, replacing the stops signs for Mitchaw traffic at Sylvania-Metamora. It turned routine trips to school or work into out-of-state drives, where some residents near the intersection had to go to north into Michigan to circumvent the closed three-way intersection.
“It was a party last night ... We counted and it should have been done on the 21 (of August) just in time for at least the high school kids,” said Sylvania Township resident Audrea Leach. “I was concerned about the buses, I had no idea the buses could go into Michigan. It was a major inconvenience. You don’t realize how much you travel a road until you can’t travel it.”
Her family lives west of the intersection in the Brookestone Village neighborhood off Sylvania-Metamora Road. She said her child, who attends Northview High School, had to catch the bus 10 minutes earlier because it was rerouted through Michigan.
The former three-way intersection in township closed July 7 for a 45-day build of the new roundabout. During construction, motorists have been rerouted using Kilburn Road to Brint Road, or Centennial Road to Brint Road to Mitchaw or Kilburn. Some motorists headed north using Yankee Road in Michigan to avoid the road closure.
Lucas County Engineers were to open the traffic circle on Aug. 21, before school began, but that was delayed because of rains during construction and extra work that was needed because of poor soil conditions. It opened Wednesday night.
When the existing pavement was removed, the soil conditions required additional excavation, fill, and more compaction, which meant more time was needed to complete the work, said Ron Myers county traffic operations engineer.
The new traffic circle, constructed by Geddis Paving of Toledo, is to better handle traffic. The intersection had required northbound and southbound motorists on Mitchaw to stop at a stop sign while there was no stoppage for traffic on Sylvania-Metamora Road. The project’s estimated cost, mostly covered by state and federal funds, is $1.045 million.
Mrs. Leach was opposed to the new roundabout, saying that many people don’t know how to use them and she often sees cars stopping in the middle of the traffic circle. She also felt other areas were in more need of a traffic controls.
“There are areas like Centennial Road and Brint, that is a troubled area where they need to do a light,” she said.
In the same neighborhood, school parent Shawn Masters was impressed with traffic circle.
“I love the roundabout. I think it flows traffic much better and I think it‘s a lot safer,” she said. “And I have teenagers that drive to Pacesetter. I was always worried about them and that turn, where cars on Mitchaw turning west onto Sylvania-Metamora.”
She traveled to Pacesetter Park, on Sylvania-Metamora Road, daily for her children’s soccer practice. Pacesetter is less than half-mile east of her, normally a hop, skip, and a jump away, but the road closure turned the daily trips into a lengthy drive.
Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.