TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It is no secret, the Anthony Wayne Trail has been a mess for quite some time. Reprieve could be in sight, and not just in regards to patching potholes.
In the State of the City address, the mayor promised to do something about the dilapidated Anthony Wayne Trail in 2019. As it turns out, with the help of state funding, that much needed project will now start this summer instead.
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz explains that this project is vital for the process of bringing new business to the Toledo area.
"Right now, because of years of freeze-thaw cycles that haven't gone our way, it doesn't give the best impression of our city, but we're going to fix it," Mayor Kapszukiewicz explained. "We recognize it. We're moving our work up an entire year to get ahead of it, and I think our partnership with the state of Ohio is part of why we're going to be able to do it."
"The City of Toledo has approached us about moving it up to this summer," Public Information Officer Rebecca Dangelo for ODOT District 2 said. "They still have some details to work out, but ODOT will work with them and make accommodations. It's the city leading this project."
The Trail is one of the older roads in our area and was originally paved with concrete in the 1930s.
The concrete still lies under the asphalt and winter weather causes it to expand and contract, worsening the pothole problem. That is why the road needs to be completely replaced, not just resurfaced.
"South to Glendale Avenue is going to be the focus of the project. It may not be done this year, but we are going to at least start it and get as much done as possible," Communications Director for the City of Toledo Ignazio Messina said Tuesday. "It's an important roadway. Obviously, there are some problems on the Trail. If you have driven it, you know there are potholes there. Today we have 8 crews out fixing potholes, but the real fix for this is going to be a complete reconstruction of that road."
Heavier traffic is expected as much of the road will not be available for use during construction. That includes traffic leading to many neighborhoods, and the Toledo Zoo.
Now that spring is on the way and busy season is on the horizon, being able to see their favorite animals is a concern for many who frequent the zoo, including some of its youngest visitors.
Casey, and his sister Abby, come to the zoo many times throughout the year with their family and want to be sure nothing keeps them from seeing their favorites, the wolves and monkeys, respectively.
Samantha Baer was also at the zoo Tuesday with her three little ones, Brinley, Quinn, and Ryan.
Brinley says that they made the trip in the warm weather today to see her favorite, the hippos. Mom, Samantha, says that they come to the zoo a lot and that tearing up the trail might be an inconvenience for her family.
"We usually park on this side just to avoid the crowds," Baer explained, referring to Broadway Street. "So yeah, I guess if that eliminated that parking space or made that side a little more crowded, our, this side, the Broadway side would be more crowded, so we'd have to fight the crowds on this side."