I-75 widening to start soon PDF Print E-mail
Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor   
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 10:27
A mile marker for I-75 southbound is seen near exit 193 for Fremont Pike in Perrysburg, Ohio as traffic passes along the highway on February 4, 2013. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
The traffic bottleneck on Interstate 75 through Wood County may soon be uncorked.
Plans are progressing to widen I-75 from two to three lanes to relieve traffic congestion, according to Theresa Pollick, public information officer with the Ohio Department of Transportation District 2 Office in Bowling Green. The entire project is expected to cost approximately $151 million.
Traffic congestion on the two-lane interstate through Wood County has worsened recently due to a higher volume of freight truck traffic, Pollick said.
The project will be worked on in phases, with the northern most section going first.
This summer, ODOT will take bids for the widening of I-75 from Ohio 582, north of Bowling Green, to Ohio 199 in Perrysburg. Construction could begin in late summer or possibly next spring, according to Pollick. That section will cost an estimated $46 million.
Construction on the southern portion, from Route 582 to County Road 99 in Hancock County, is scheduled to be bid in 2015. That portion may be accelerated if the funding becomes available sooner, Pollick said. That section, which will be divided into three contracts, is estimated at $105 million.
ODOT plans to add the third lane on the inside, where the grassy median is currently located. None of the overpasses will have to be reconstructed, Pollick said.
However, the bridges on I-75 will have to be reconstructed. That consists of approximately 12 sets of twin structures.
The widening of I-75 is welcome news to Wade Gottschalk, executive director of the Wood County Economic Development Commission.
"Anytime you can invest and improve on your base infrastructure, you make your county more attractive for investments" by prospective companies looking for a place to locate, Gottschalk said.
The need for the widening of I-75 became greater when the CSX hub opened last year near North Baltimore, creating more truck traffic on the interstate.

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