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(Toledo News Now) -
Four counties are working
together to make State Route 53 safer for drivers.
ODOT has agreed to study
the highway, if the local counties pay a portion of the cost.
SR 53 runs north from
Upper Sandusky all the way to Port Clinton, passing through Tiffin and Fremont
along the way, making it a vital and busy thoroughfare.
"A lot of folks use this
road to get up to the lake during the seasonal time," said John Davoli, director
of NCOR COG. "They use it to get to Cedar Point."
According to county
officials, the stretch of 53 running through Seneca County is ranked among the
top five in the state for accidents, which is why officials from the four
counties that 53 runs through met Friday, to begin developing a plan to raise
funds for the ODOT study.
"Let's do some safety
improvements, perhaps some economic developments will come from that, as well,"
The counties will pay for a
portion of the study, and will help fund any future improvements the study may
find necessary. It's a price tag all local officials say they are willing to
"We are long overdue, and
we are going to work very hard to work with ODOT to have this study conducted
and come up with the funds so we can share into this," said Seneca County
Commissioner Fred Zoeller.
infrastructure would help sell Tiffin and Seneca County to outside businesses.
"We need, at minimum, a "Super
2," if not a 4-lane highway if we ever want good-paying jobs, like American
Standard, for example, to come back here," said Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz.
The cost analysis for the
study should be finished in a few months. The study itself could take years.