TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Travel into downtown is about to change, and city leaders say that's a good thing. Construction is about the begin on the long-awaited Anthony Wayne Trial Gateway.
About two months later than originally planned, the Mayor and other local leaders held a groundbreaking for the $4.4 million project.
The Anthony Wayne Trail will be moved closer to the Erie Street Market, eliminating a somewhat dangerous merge point with drivers coming into downtown off the Trail and off of Interstate 75 north.
Actual construction work will start next week. They'll tear down several buildings, including a former meat processing plant.
The Gateway Project will also have extensive landscaping and the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo has commissioned a sculpture and works of public art to make the entrance into downtown, shine.
"I talk about, when I was a district council person, about the pioneers who really started this downtown resurgence, and I think those men and women who bought properties early on in the Warehouse District should be noted," Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson added at a news conference just before the groundbreaking.
During construction, there will be two lanes open at all times so you won't have to find another way into downtown.
"It will be a lot safer. Instead of a five-legged intersection, we have a nice easy gradual move that should slow down speeds with a reverse curve into an intersection that's just a normal four-legged intersection," said Dave Dysard of the city's Division of Engineering Services.
When the project is done, it will also be safer for pedestrians to get through the intersection.
Dysard said all major highway construction will be finished by Thanksgiving but the full project won't be done until the fall of 2018.