West Toledo Neighborhood Facing the Bulldozer

TOLEDO -- There's a lot of uncertainty in a small, old west Toledo neighborhood. The Ohio Department of Transportation plans to use the area for a new exit on I-475.

Georgia Avenue and Giant Street are the affected streets. They're just north of I-475 near Upton Avenue.

ODOT says they need to put in a new interchange because of the $160 million improvement to the I-75/I-475 interchange a mile away. Also, all the entrance exit ramps nearby at Jackman, Upton, and Central Avenue don't meet federal guidelines.

"All my kids were born and raised here, now just like that we have to move," said Peg Diehlman, a Georgia Avenue resident. Diehlman has lived on Georgia avenue for over 40 years.

Construction won't begin until at least the summer of 2009, but a lot of the residents are under the impression they need to be out much sooner.

"We had people come to our house in April and they said they would give us an offer in June or July," said Penny Bost, also a Georgia Avenue resident.

About 60 homes will be bulldozed. ODOT is estimating it will take $14 million to settle with all the property owners. They also hope to settle without using eminent domain.

There will be a public hearing for the residents, most likely in the fall.

Posted by PJS