by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Sylvania City Council member Mark Frye highlights elements of the alternative plans to interested residents including Brian Yeager.

Over 160 people attended the city of Sylvania public meeting on Oct. 16 to learn about the upgrade for the US 23 and Monroe Street interchange. Meeting participants were encouraged to offer feedback about the alternatives for the upgrade.

“In 2007 ODOT commissioned a planning study to define a coherent overall strategy to improve I475-US23 highway system to meet the transportation needs through 2035. Last year, the city of Sylvania commissioned a study of the Sylvania interchange in conjunction with the ODOT strategic plan. The scope of the study was to review viable alternatives to improve safety and increase capacity,” explained Joe Shaw, P.E., P.S., Deputy Director, City of Sylvania, Department of Public Service.

“We are looking to improve the roads and intersections in this area to accommodate the increased traffic, keeping safety as the paramount issue,” he added. The Mannik Smith Group was hired and they developed Alternatives A and B, which were highlighted at the meeting.

Joe Shaw of the city of Sylvania’s Public Service Department explains options to Ron Foley and Marie Campbell as City Councilman Mark Luetke looks on.

Alternative A reduces the number of traffic signals within the interchange footprint from 4 down to 3. The key component to Alternative A is the northbound US-23 exit ramp splits traffic by destination. Vehicles with destinations west of US-23 split to the left and are taken to a new traffic signal just east of the Monroe Street bridge common to the US-23 northbound on-ramp. Vehicles with destinations east of US-23 split to the right and are taken to a new traffic signal near Seney Park. Alternative B further reduces the number of traffic signals within the interchange footprint from 4 down to 2. In this alternative, all northbound US-23 exit ramp vehicles are brought to a new, larger traffic signal common to both Alexis Road and Monroe Street near Seney Park.

City council members Katie Cappellini and Sandy Husman look over the maps on display as Jean Hartline of Mannik Smith Group talks with Karen Naseef.

In both Alternative A and B, four different options were presented to improve safety at Glasgow Road. Each option slightly adjusts the location of the intersection which also impacts the southbound US-23 off-ramp loop. Also common to both alternatives is the widening of eastbound Monroe Street from two lanes to three lanes from west of Harroun Road to US-23 to increase capacity. Meeting participants had the opportunity to make comments at the meeting and also have until mid-November to offer written comments.

“These public comments are very important in helping to define the preferred alternative. Our team was extremely pleased with the meeting and the great feedback we received,” noted Jean Hartline, vice president Mannik Smith Group and manager of the project. “We learned a lot, especially at the Alexis Road and Acres Road intersection, and have gone back to the drawing board after listening to the comments to re-evaluate some of the design aspects. We will evaluate and integrate that feedback into the report.”

According to Hartline, this is just the beginning of the process. Once the design is finalized, funding for the project will be pursued, which will better define a timeline for construction.