Anthony Wayne bridge to close for 19 months - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Anthony Wayne bridge to close for 19 months

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The thought of the high level bridge being closed to traffic for more than a year is frustrating, especially for those who use it on a daily basis.

"The traffic is going to be increasing and summer is coming and it's going to be worse," Lucinda Kinnan, who lives in East Toledo said.  "The roads aren't fit to drive on now."

But it's necessary, so the Ohio Department of Transportation can rebuild and refurbish the Toledo landmark.

"The goal is to maintain its historical integrity and we intend to do that while improving safety," ODOT spokesperson, Theresa Pollick told 13abc.

The price tag is a hefty $28.6 million.

It includes rebuilding the bridge deck, fence and sidewalks, replacing trusses, and rehabbing existing infrastructure.

"While we have this closure in place we wanted to make sure we were doing all of the work necessary and make sure we eliminated any need to come back again in the near future," Pollick said.

For some this project needed to happen a long time ago.

"It's been crumbling and falling apart," Diane Cheek, who lives next to the bridge said.

Cheek says she's found pieces of the bridge in their backyard.  Both she and her husband are anxiously awaiting the finished product.

"I'm ecstatic that they're going to take care of my neighbor," Cheek told 13abc.

However, there are some concerns.

There's the obvious traffic headache, but also the worry that police and firefighters will have a more difficult time responding to emergencies.

"If something happens can they call for mutual aid?" Kinnan asked.

The answer is yes.  In fact, TPD and Toledo Firefighters have already looked into how to alleviate that issue.

One of many adjustments that will be made as upgrades are completed.

The bridge will close to traffic March 17th and for 10 days after the Craig bridge will also be shut down.

Detours will be posted.

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