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Published: Tuesday, 9/2/2014

Central Ave. construction in Sylvania Twp. will jam traffic

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Already one of metro Toledo’s busiest roadways, the Central Avenue Strip is about to become far more congested.

Expect a slew of orange construction barrels narrowing traffic when an Ohio Department of Transportation contractor starts work today on a project to widen all four legs of Central's intersection with Holland-Sylvania Road in Sylvania Township and add median barriers there.

When Toledo-based Geddis Paving finishes work outlined in its $1.9 million contract, all four approaches will have new right-turn lanes in addition to left-turn lanes and two lanes for traffic going straight.

But during construction, scheduled to end in June or July, both Central and Holland-Sylvania will be down to one lane each way, plus left-turn lanes.

“It will have a definite impact to traffic,” said Theresa Pollick, an ODOT spokesman in Bowling Green. “Have patience and slow down in the work zone.”

Under a separate, but simultaneous $186,000 contract, Geddis also will make minor improvements to the nearby corner of Central and Reynolds Road, including crosswalk, sign, and signal upgrades, Ms. Pollick said.

The new median walls will run between Warner Avenue and Van Fleet Parkway on Central, and from the northerly Walmart entrance to Goodhue Drive on Holland-Sylvania — with breaks at the Central/​Holland-Sylvania intersection, of course.

The “safety project” will be somewhat of an overture to a massive reconstruction ODOT has planned for the nearby Central Avenue interchange along I-475/​U.S. 23.

“This is something we can do right away,” Ms. Pollick said of the intersection work.

She said the project is “based on the history and traffic counts” on the Central Avenue Strip and “will improve the safety of these two intersections.”

The bigger project, scheduled to start next summer and take two years to finish, will feature replacement of Central’s existing roadway and ramps with a “single-point urban interchange” just south of the existing bridge over the freeway.

Such interchanges have been built elsewhere across Ohio and in southeast Michigan, but are unknown in Toledo. They feature a central intersection on the surface street — either directly below or, in this case, above — the freeway that handles all left turns.

The interchange is expected to cost up to $50 million and will include building a median the rest of the way between Holland-Sylvania and I-475. Central already has a median between I-475 and McCord Road.

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



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