|To the Editor: Scenic road should be saved|
|Written by Karen Higgins|
|Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:41|
The Ohio Department of Transportation District 2 will decide on Oct. 10 whether to reroute two portions of State Rt. 65 in Wood County or build retaining walls. ODOT should read their own website that lists Rt. 65 as part of the Maumee Valley Scenic Byway established by the National Scenic Byway program. People come from all over to drive this beautiful roadway because it parallels the Maumee River with its winding dips and curves, and provides breathtaking views of the river.
Building retaining walls rather than relocating portions of Rt. 65 away from the river is the most logical and respectful solution to preserving this unique scenic roadway. ODOT at their Sept. 26 meeting in Waterville showed photos of fallen ash trees and edges of crumbling pavement to justify their intention to spend taxpayer dollars to stabilize parts of roadway they claim is shifting.
Four proposals have been presented to re-configure the intersection of Routes 64, 65 and Rietz Road. They involve tearing down three original Wood County farm houses and destroying over 40 acres of prime farm land. One of the options even proposes a roundabout which pits motorists against semi-trucks and farm equipment.
They also propose to relocate part of Rt. 65 just south of Weston Road near Nazareth Hall. This configuration includes a sweeping arc of roadway veering from the river that gobbles up front yards, a pond, destroying century-old trees and the demolition of an 108 year-old historic home that was part of the Underground Railway.
At both locations, ODOT also has offered the option of building retaining walls which they estimate to cost overall about $1.9 million more than their proposal to relocate roadways, tear down homes and confiscate land they don't own.
Building retaining walls should be the only solution. Once ODOT starts land-grabbing along Rt. 65, where will it stop?
Citizens make Wood County their destination to drive this scenic route, buy their gasoline and purchase their lunch along the way. Unlike most of northwest Ohio that is flat and where the intersections are at right angles, Rt. 65 is unique and should be preserved.
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