Anthony Wayne Trail entrance into downtown designs will make it - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Anthony Wayne Trail entrance into downtown designs will make it safer, appealing

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Sample of Anthony Wayne Trail project design by the city of Toledo Sample of Anthony Wayne Trail project design by the city of Toledo
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The city wants to straighten out and redesign the Anthony Wayne Trail as it comes into downtown Toledo, meeting traffic off of Interstate 75. The merger can be difficult and the road curves around awkwardly until it reaches Erie and Lafayette. The drivers are thrown together at near interstate speeds.

"You've got 75 and the trail coming together and you've got this area of scatter, where everyone is trying to get left, get right, and you've got all these dodge ‘em cars," said Bill Thomas, Downtown Toledo Improvement District.

The design for the city's preferred option was on for community members to view. The design is intended to have the roadways be safer and more efficient. It will have trail and 75 traffic merge much closer to their exits. It will eliminate the current five way intersection at Erie and Lafayette and make it a modern, four way intersection. A large green space will be added to make the arrival into downtown pleasing to the eye.

Downtown Toledo residents and business owners gave their input. Some hope that more shoppers will be enticed to visit the area.

"Everything we do is really fashioned around how we can make it more pleasing and attractive for people coming in. And so it's always a combination of things involved in bringing people in but this is another one of those things that certainly could have an effect on that," said Thomas.

Ann Albright owns Swan Creek Candle and hopes the improvements will send more shoppers her way.

"It's a great way to present the city to new people coming in so that it's more friendly and if you want to be there instead of kind of seeing dilapidated buildings and a lot of garbage on the street," said Albright.

The open house was also a chance for the business owners and residents to ask questions about how the change affects them.

"Will they really be thrown into this and say, ‘maybe this person or businessman has a point there?' Absolutely. Every comment we receive will be documented and then there will be a response for it," said Dave Dysard, City of Toledo Engineering Services.

Project construction is set to begin in two years, near spring of 2016, and should be completed within a few months after. It is about a $3.75 million project. 80% will be coming from federal funds and the remaining 20% will come from the city of Toledo.

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