TRAFFIC HEADACHE: 2 Toledo bridges shut down in March - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

TRAFFIC HEADACHE: 2 Toledo bridges shut down in March

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The Anthony Wayne Bridge will close March 17 for renovations. The Anthony Wayne Bridge will close March 17 for renovations.
The Craig Bridge closed in January and will remain closed until at least March 26. The Craig Bridge closed in January and will remain closed until at least March 26.
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

For more than a year and a half, the Anthony Wayne Bridge will be closed for major repairs. For the first 10 days it's closed, the Craig Bridge will also be closed. East Toledo residents are concerned about traffic congestion and emergency response times.

The Craig Bridge was supposed to reopen March 15, but weather has delayed painting. The Ohio Department of Transportation now expects the bridge to open March 26. As a result, there will be a 10-day span when the Craig and Anthony Wayne bridges will both be closed.

"We may drive all the way around Toledo to come the back way into the east side. We don't know. We have to see how it goes," said driver Jonathan St. Aubin.

The Anthony Wayne Bridge will be closed for 19 months starting March 17.

"For 10 days of overlap between the two, this was probably the best choice that we had," said Theresa Pollick with ODOT.

It seemed like the best choice because if this project is delayed until fall, it could increase costs.

"When you talk about three stories of scaffolding that you have to put up, take down, and put back up again, that would be a substantial cost," explained Pollick.

In the meantime, drivers say they're going to find alternative routes.

"In the long run, it's going to be a good thing. But imagine how awful it's going to be. It's going to be tough to find anyone on the east side. We're going to have to take the turnpike," said driver Nannette Creamer.

ODOT held a meeting at the East Toledo Family Center where representatives from the Toledo police and fire departments were on hand to address concerns. They said the concerns are valid, but they have it under control.

"People have a lot of concerns. We have kids walking to school. What's this traffic going to cause? We have accidents constantly and the traffic flow is really going to be bad," said Lucinda Kinnan, an east Toledo resident.

Toledo police understand traffic will become a concern and also understand the first 10 days will be the hardest.

"Our main job is going to be making sure that traffic is moving along. Last thing we want to have is long delays or gridlock on the east side, and I think we're prepared to do that. We are going to be monitoring the situation," said Sgt. Joe Heffernan.

That brings up the next concern: emergency response.

"My concern is if something does happen, you know, do they have mutual aid set in stone?" said Kinnan.

With two fire stations on the east side, calls should be handled with no problem. But Toledo Fire & Rescue will continue to assess the situation and add extra crews if needed. The same goes for the police department.

"If need be, we'll have extra crews on the east side. The good news though, is the safety building (our headquarters) is right across the bridge. We can get to the east side very quickly if need be," said Heffernan.

Suggested Detours:

-For the Anthony Wayne Bridge: Oak Street, Fassett Street, Miami Street, I-75, Anthony Wayne Trail (Exit 201B), Monroe Street, Summit Street.

-For the Craig Bridge: Front Street, Cherry Street, Summit Street


Read more about the Anthony Wayne Bridge project:

Read more about the Craig Bridge project:

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