ODOT Updates Maumee Chamber Members On Roadway Projects In Northwest Ohio

During the April 9 luncheon, the Maumee Chamber of Commerce introduced new members (from left) Rob Patz and Katie Pauli of 24 Media; Rebecca Booth and Leasa Hite of Fetch! Pet Care – Toledo; Greg Cook of the University of Toledo Federal Credit Union; Summer Hill of SMB Communication Solutions; and Jennifer Conrad and Roger Parker of Belmont Country Club. MIRROR PHOTO BY KRISTI FISH

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — As work on roadways ramps up to take advantage of the nice weather, Ohio Department of Transportation public information officer Kelsie Hoagland joined Maumee Chamber of Commerce members at an April luncheon to share information on current and upcoming projects.

Hoagland also provided insight on why ODOT continues to be visible throughout the community.

“ODOT’s mission is to provide safe, accessible, well-maintained and positioned-for-the-future roadways,” Hoagland said. “We’re doing a lot right now that adds to our capacity. We have a couple of active projects.”

With the fifth-largest interstate system in the nation and more than 8,000 miles of interstate roadway, there is a lot of area that needs to be maintained throughout the state. ODOT, however, does not just work on the interstates.

In Maumee, Hoagland reminded chamber members, ODOT is working on several areas, including the Anthony Wayne Trail and Ford Street.

On Ford Street, Hoagland expects the project to move quickly over the next few weeks but encourages businesses impacted by the temporary closures on the north side of the Trail to contact ODOT with any questions.

“The Trail is our job. A couple of the project goals are to resurface between Monclova and Detroit, improve those ADA ramps and accessibilities with the sidewalk connections, and install more of that curbing,” Hoagland said. “Now, we have some weird curbing that jets out on the Trail and doesn’t feel comfortable.”

In addition to the addition of hundreds of trees and the reduced speed in certain areas to 35 mph, the Trail will become safer for pedestrians and those in vehicles, Hoagland added.

Curbs and other structures can naturally slow down drivers, which can reduce the number of accidents, she said.

Along with the new fixtures, what is happening on the Trail also fits well with what the city is doing on Conant Street, Hoagland noted.

Some of the goals of the Conant Street project are to improve the visitor experience and make the uptown area a safer destination for everyone.

Additionally, city leaders have said the project makes Maumee the destination, rather than a through-road for drivers.

When answering a question from the luncheon crowd, Hoagland noted that Maumee, like most other towns, does not want people speeding through the area to get to different destinations.

Maumee City Council member Margo Puffen-berger also explained to the crowd that once construction is complete, the city will use AI-based technology it has acquired to check the timing of lights and how to keep vehicles moving safely and efficiently during high-traffic times.

For those who are attempting to get to a destination not in Maumee, going around the area on roads meant for that kind of traffic, such as I-475, is an option.

In order to make that experience better for everyone, Hoagland said ODOT is working on projects on I-475 and has plans for more projects in the future, including widening the highway to three lanes between the river and Airport Highway and resurfacing the road.

“It’s a full-depth reconstruction. That means taking it down to the dirt and rebuilding. It’s something that hasn’t been done in 60 years,” Hoagland said.

A new interchange at U.S. 20A and I-475 is also under construction, as residents have been able to see the changes happening over the past few months. Two bridges are needed to accommodate a diverging diamond interchange, which crews have been working on.

“A diverging diamond is something we really love because it reduces those impact locations,” Hoagland added. “It reduces the collision potentials from 32 to 8.”

Once completed, the interchange will resemble the interchange at S.R. 25 and I-475 in Perrysburg, near Costco.

“There are going to be great benefits for businesses that are already there and of course open up opportunities to the whole corridor,” Hoagland said.

It will also help with commuters who currently get off at Dussel Drive, but then must move south toward 20A.

“One of the unique components that’s going to be added to connect these is there’s going to be a collector road – there’s going to be a concrete barrier wall where you exit early for Dussel and 20A and take the same exit. You’ll see those changes become visible over the next few summer months.”

Down the road, at 20A and Strayer Road, ODOT has plans for a future project to make the intersection safer. While a roundabout is one of the options, Hoagland said ODOT is currently accepting input from those who frequent the area and have comments or suggestions on the project’s future plans.

Over the next several years, more projects are planned for I-475 and I-75, along with other roads through ODOT’s District 2.

More diverging diamond interchanges, safer intersections and the widening of other sections of I-475 are all planned.

“There is definitely a lot of progress happening here,” Hoagland said.

For more information on current or upcoming projects, those interested can visit transportation.ohio.gov. Questions can be directed to District 2 at (419) 353-8131.

During the luncheon, the chamber also:

• Introduced new members: Jennifer Conrad and Roger Parker of Belmont Country Club; Rebecca Booth and Leasa Hite of Fetch! Pet Care – Toledo; Summer Hill of SMB Communication Solutions; Greg Cook of University of Toledo Federal Credit Union; and Rob Patz and Katie Pauli of 24 Media.

• Reminded chamber members of upcoming events, including The Blade Education and Job Fair on Wednesday, May 1 and the annual Maumee Chamber Golf Outing on June 24. More information on both events is available at maumeechamber.com.

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