Local road projects could start sooner - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Local road projects could start sooner

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The McCord railroad crossing. The McCord railroad crossing.
(Toledo News Now) -

Some road projects that could make drivers in northwest Ohio safer are moving up on the calendar.

The McCord Road railroad crossing project could move up by a year. It may not seem like a big difference, but lives could be saved.

It was December of 2009 when 15-year-old Cody Brown was killed by a fast-moving train, and Springfield High classmate Bri Mullinger was seriously injured while crossing the tracks. Their families fought for safety improvements, and a plan emerged to build an underpass for traffic.

Once far off, Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced Monday he wants the project moved up to 2014.

"I think it's a great idea," said former Springfield student Jaimee Stoner. "It has been an issue for years and with that occurring…with the school right here, they might as well move it up."

Another project the governor wants moved up is I-475 at Central Avenue. It's currently a nightmare for drivers coming from Toledo who need to go south on 475, and immediately need to cross over three lanes to get off at Central. The Ohio Department of Transportation's plan to reconstruct it and make it safer was not supposed to start until 2027. Gov. Kasich now wants 12 years shaved off, having it begin in 2015.

"I'd heard of the plan and then heard 2027," said Sylvania Township resident Larry Johnson. "Are you kidding me? How many people might get killed on that right now?"

The new plan from Columbus also calls for the widening of I-75 in Wood County to three lanes to begin next year instead of 2027, and adding a third lane on I-75 from Phillips Road to I-280 beginning in 2015 instead of 2027.

These recommendations by the governor could be voted on this Thursday by the state's transportation review advisory council.

Some of the projects would be funded by Turnpike toll revenue.

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