Planning for the Future
The city of Sylvania had a busy City Council Meeting on July 15, setting the course for several road improve-ment projects over the next five to seven years. All of the projects are needed to meet the 36,000 and growing number of vehicles in the Monroe Street and US 23 area every day. The city needs to leverage its local funds with state funding to make the projects financially feasible.
Alexis Road Safety Improvement Project
Over the last few years, the city has worked with ODOT to improve traffic safety on Alexis Road east of Monroe Street. This area has many accidents due to left turns into and out of businesses, particularly the fast food restaurants. The typical ODOT response has been to build center medians to prohibit those turns, as was done by ODOT on Central Avenue at Holland-Sylvania Road. Working with ODOT and an engineering consultant, a plan for improvements has been developed to improve safety while avoiding center medians. A program of traffic signal improvements and improvements at the Alexis Road/Acres Road intersection has been approved by ODOT and is ready for bidding. The total project budget is $569,800 with the city’s share $148,148. The project will be bid later this year with construction planned to start in April 2020.
Monroe Street and Harroun Road Intersection Improvements
The state of Ohio has identified this busy intersection in Sylvania as one of the top six in the area for vehicle crashes. Because of the amount of traffic funneling onto the bridge over US 23 during rush hours and Flower Hospital shift changes, any accidents there cause considerable traffic delays and disruption. The number of vehicles continues to grow every year. ODOT plans to properly realign Harroun Road with the Toledo Memorial Park main entrance and extend the west bound Monroe Street left turn lanes to Harroun Road by eliminating left turns into and out of Toledo Memorial Park’s east entrance drive. This ODOT project will improve safety and traffic flow, but will unfortunately restrict vehicular movements via Toledo Memorial Park’s east drive and Kroger’s Harroun Road driveway to right-in, right-out only, changes that have been studied and recommended by the traffic experts, but are not being made lightly. The project is estimated to cost $1.8 million with the city responsible for 10 percent of the cost. City Council authorized the hiring of DGL Engineering to prepare the construction plans for bidding this project.
US 23 and Monroe Street Interchange
Preliminary plans have already been developed and publicly presented for this vital interchange upgrade and modernization needed for future safe and efficient traffic movement in Sylvania. The cost is estimated at a staggering $28 million, far beyond the city’s financial resources. Working with ODOT and TMACOG, the city’s service department has developed a proposed compilation of six grant fund opportunities to limit the city’s expense to 10 percent or $2.8 million of the total. The next step is to begin the timely application for those funds. City Council authorized the first three of these applications on July 15 to the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program. CMAQ is the same program from where funds have been awarded to improve the Monroe Street and Silica Intersection in 2023. The success of these applications will lead to more grant programs, with possible construction in 2025. If successful, the ODOT bridge deck replacement for Monroe Street over US 23 scheduled for 2021 will be delayed and become a part of the overall interchange improvements.
My sincere thanks to TMACOG and ODOT for their cooperation on these challenging projects. And particularly to the creativity and hard work of the Sylvania Service Department for undertaking and envisioning how to accomplish these needed road improvement projects.