Dorr St. Interchange could get new money

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Financing the Dorr Street Interchange:

Cost: $40m
State: $14m
ODOT: $12m
Local: $6.6m

Short: $3.3m

The Ohio Department of Transportation estimates building an exit coming off of I-475 at Dorr Street would cost $40 million.

Originally, the City of Toledo, the University of Toledo, Lucas County and Springfield Township were onboard, raising their necessary $10 million match.

The University and the city backed out leaving a $3 millon hole.

But the county and ODOT are not giving up.

They have teamed up to ask the state for money to widen 475 and to build the interchange at Dorr Street.

County engineer Keith Earley says, "The interchange can't happen if widening does not happen so it certainly makes sense to combine the two projects."

Earley says the county wants $14 million from the State of Ohio combined with $12 million ODOT would contribute.

That leaves a $14 million shortfall to get the project fully funded.

Tuesday, the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments said it is willing to contribute $4 million to those projects.

David Gedeon says TMACOG has advocated for this project for decades and believes this $4 million will help convince the state to pitch in.

Gedeon says, "We're hoping this will be the year those construction dollars will actually get committed to the project."

But still, another partner is needed; either UT or Toledo or someone else.

Councilman Rob Ludeman wants the city to step up, saying, "I think the timing is right for the city to jump on board."

Ludeman may push council to get the city involved.

The mayor's office says it supports the interchange plan but will not help fund it.

That leaves this $40 million project is $3.3 million short.

Advocates say building the interchange will add help relieve traffic along 475 and provide quicker access to Toledo through Dorr Street.

They also insist the interchange would promote economic development along the Dorr Street corridor into Toledo and perhaps attract a corporate headquarters along 475.

Nearby landowners are willing to sell their property for the project, but without another partner stepping in, there may not be enough financing to do the work.

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