Fort-to-Port Finish Line
The realignment of US 24 from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Toledo has been completed on time and on budget. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) celebrated with a ribbon cutting near Waterville on Tuesday, August 28. Before it opened to vehicles, walkers, runners, and cyclists were invited to try out the pavement.
The 80-mile project was undertaken to improve safety and reduce congestion on a route vital to the movement of goods and passengers. The old road had plenty of problems. With a single lane in each direction for most of its length and with lots of curves, passing was dangerous. Because there was no limitation on access, there were many intersections, some very close together. According to traffic counts at the Indiana-Ohio state line in 2000, there were more trucks than cars on the road. All these elements contributed to the route’s history of fatal crashes. The new route is four lanes for its entire length and has limited access.
The construction project, which began in 2006, moved through Paulding, Defiance, Henry, and Lucas counties in Ohio and Allen County in Indiana. The scope of work included 52 new bridges and 10 new interchanges. While US 24 is important regionally, it is also identified as a macro corridor in ODOT plans, and is one of 21 High Priority Corridors in the National Highway System.
Celebrating the opening of US 24. ODOT Director Jerry Wray at left, former ODOT Deputy Director District 2 James McCarty next, and Mike Ligibel third from right. Ligibel recently retired after a long and successful career with ODOT District 2 as the Planning Administrator. Since the project’s original conception, he was a key individual in moving the US 24 project forward.
Photo by Rob Greenlese of Waterville, commissioner of the Ohio Rail Development Commission and member of the TMACOG Freight Committee.
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur with Lucas County Engineer Keith Earley and TMACOG President Tony Reams at the ribbon cutting ceremony on US 24 Fort to Port.
The cameras are standing by for ODOT Director Jerry Wray who is preparing with help from ODOT Public Information Officer Theresa Pollick and ODOT Deputy Director District 2 Todd Audet.
Traffic moves through the last of the construction on August 28 under the re-located US 24. The new roadway opened the next day after a ribbon cutting ceremony.