TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Anyone who drives into downtown Toledo using the Anthony Wayne Trail needs to pay attention. Construction at the new gateway project will close the trail for four days.
Even City of Toledo Engineers agree the current layout at the intersection of Erie Street and Lafayette with inbound Anthony Wayne Trail is sub par.
"The ramp is kind of just inserted into a four way intersection. It's confusing for people, it's not something we run into very often," said Dave Dysard with the City of Toledo Engineering Services.
That is why the $4.4 million project is completely rebuilding the gateway to downtown.
After merging with the I-75 northbound off ramp, the trail will now merge with Erie south of the intersection, allowing for Lafayette to become a two-way again and for pedestrian traffic to be able to cross Erie.
But to accomplish this, crews will have to shut down traffic for one weekend.
Starting Friday morning, inbound Anthony Wayne Trail and the NB I-75 off ramp will be shut down through Monday. All inbound downtown traffic will be diverted up I-75 to Collingwood.
"It is just unavoidable if we want to have the pavement construction completely done before winter sets in. and it would be a lot more pain to have it partially completed over the winter time. So we figured it was a good trade off," said Dysard.
But Dysard believes it will be a short term headache for downtown commuters for what is ultimately a huge upgrade for the area.
"This gateway is really about the image of our city that we project to visitors and to ourselves everyday as we come into town. So we wanted to really clean that up and have it well constructed and a very nice looking image," said Dysard.
The plan is to have the roads paved and ready for traffic by mid November. Then in the spring, the city will pick the project back up to beautify the gateway with landscaping and a sculpture.