ODOT announces plan to improve I-475/US-23 interchange in Sylvania

SYLVANIA, OH (Toledo News Now) - The Ohio Department of Transportation announced plans Wednesday to change the way drivers exit I-475 westbound onto US-23 south and then Central Avenue in Sylvania.

As the interchange currently stands, drivers find it difficult, even dangerous to merge onto US-23 and immediately exit at Central Avenue.

"I'm not going to endanger myself. If I am coming in that direction and needed to get onto Central, I would go east instead of west and make a U turn in somebody's parking lot," said driver Nancy Grindulis.

It is not just drivers who say the interchange is dangerous, though.  

"It was identified in a study we completed in 2007 as the number one location for safety concerns and accidents," said Michael Stormer, ODOT's District 2 Planning Engineer.

As a result, ODOT will begin improvements to the interchange in 2014. When the project is completed, drivers on I-475 west wishing to exit onto Central Avenue will have their own exit lane, separate from the ramp to US-23 and the ramp from US-23 to Central Avenue.

"They will merge into one lane, and they'll run kind of side by side with the 475 and 23 traffic," said Stormer. "I think it's something that should have been done a long time ago, but I applaud them for starting to do something."

Officials say they hope this is phase one of a larger project.  They would like to eventually see I-475 widened to four lanes, but there is no time table for that project yet.

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