County officials want SR 53 improvements - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

County officials want SR 53 improvements

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(Toledo News Now) -

Four counties are working together to make State Route 53 safer for drivers.

ODOT has agreed to study the highway, if the local counties pay a portion of the cost.

SR 53 runs north from Upper Sandusky all the way to Port Clinton, passing through Tiffin and Fremont along the way, making it a vital and busy thoroughfare.

"A lot of folks use this road to get up to the lake during the seasonal time," said John Davoli, director of NCOR COG. "They use it to get to Cedar Point."

According to county officials, the stretch of 53 running through Seneca County is ranked among the top five in the state for accidents, which is why officials from the four counties that 53 runs through met Friday, to begin developing a plan to raise funds for the ODOT study.

"Let's do some safety improvements, perhaps some economic developments will come from that, as well," Davoli said.

The counties will pay for a portion of the study, and will help fund any future improvements the study may find necessary. It's a price tag all local officials say they are willing to pay.

"We are long overdue, and we are going to work very hard to work with ODOT to have this study conducted and come up with the funds so we can share into this," said Seneca County Commissioner Fred Zoeller.

The improved infrastructure would help sell Tiffin and Seneca County to outside businesses.

"We need, at minimum, a "Super 2," if not a 4-lane highway if we ever want good-paying jobs, like American Standard, for example, to come back here," said Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz.

The cost analysis for the study should be finished in a few months. The study itself could take years.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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