Monroe Street construction causes headaches for drivers and businesses

Published: Sep. 26, 2019 at 10:27 PM EDT
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Toledo drivers and businesses are fed up with what feels like never-ending construction on Monroe Street. 13abc looking in to the complaints and getting a project status update from the city.

Since April, a two-mile stretch of Monroe Street has been a challenge to navigate.

"It's quite a headache," said Kelly Dreslinksi. She serves at Nick & Jimmy's Bar & Grill.

Especially for those who work here, like Dreslinksi.

"It's taken me maybe 10 to 15, maybe 20 minutes longer to get to work and that's on a good day," said Dreslinksi.

Orange barrels, cones, and tape marking construction zones along Monroe and Talmadge, Secor and entrances to the Franklin Park Mall.

"I've hit several bumps, holes, cracks," said Dreslinksi.

Now, businesses are hurting.

"Some won't even bother to stop. They'll just stay on the outskirts of Monroe Street just for the convenience of it," said Dreslinksi.

It doesn't deter everyone. Like one Toledo couple who stopped in to Sherwin-Williams Thursday to pick up some paint.

"Got to try to be a little more patient," said Toledo driver Nicola Licata.

Kevin Mcgrath says he drives this street daily.

"It's tough out there and there's a lot of angst. Drivers are definitely getting antsy about it," said Mcgrath.

13abc spoke with the city administrator of engineering services about the project. In short, he says the goal is to reduce crashes and increase safety. Traffic studies proved these intersections are accident-prone. Nearly three million federal dollars have been awarded to fix it up, and the rest of the money is coming from the Westfield Tax Increment Financing District - that businesses like the mall pay in to for road improvements like this. When it's all finished, the bill will be more than four million dollars. The resurfacing part is expected to be done in October, and by Thanksgiving - the plan is to have all manholes filled and upgraded signal poles and signs up. In the end, the city says this massive overhaul will result in a safer, smoother ride.

"We'll hope for the best in the future and maybe the wait was worth it," said Mcgrath.

"That's all well and deserved, but I wish they could have done it in a fashion that was causing more damage, even possible accidents the way that it's set up," said Dreslinksi.

For now, businesses hope you'll zig-zag through the mess and keep stopping in.