The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Progress 2016

Sometimes it can be like baseball

This is the 30th year for Progress, The Press’s annual look at economic development. Looking back, you can’t say that things never change, nor can you say those were the good old days.ProgressHeader2015KG

Things do change, albeit slower than most of us prefer. This look back should hearten our resolve to solve our fresh water problem just like we solved our access problem.

Consider that community leaders, in our first Progress edition in 1986, warned us a lack of access to industrial land was the biggest deterrent to development.

Back then, the Craig drawbridge on I-280 was the greatest impediment to cross-town traffic. The bridge delayed traffic and deterred development. It opened 1,125 times in 1985. Any company doing just-in-time delivery to the auto industry would think twice about locating in East Toledo, or in Oregon’s industrial area.

Grade crossings over rail tracks compounded this lack of access.

The Wales Road grade separation project was finally completed last year in Northwood.

The much awaited project allows motorists to travel with less risk of getting blocked by trains from Woodville Road to East Broadway.

The $11.2 million project includes the construction of two overpasses over the CSX and Norfolk Southern railroad tracks on Wales Road that effectively eliminates three railroad crossings and opens up traffic that is frequently delayed by trains. Wales Road is the only east-west road linking Northwood’s business district with its westerly neighborhoods. For years, the trains separated the east from the west sides of town. To adjust, the city had to build a fire station on each side of the city to avoid serious delays when emergency vehicles responded to calls. The overpasses open up the east to west artery for businesses, residents, fire, police, and school buses in the city

The city put the final touches on the project last year by adding a turn lane on Wales Road at East Broadway with the help of an Ohio Public Works Commission grant in the amount of $59,250,” said Mayor Mark Stoner. The city also spent $71,500 to resurface Wales from Woodville Road to Oram Road to complete the project, he added.

The project also included the realignment of Wales and Drouillard roads to the south.

In April 2014, the National Museum of the Great Lakes opened along East Toledo’s Maumee River front next to the Toledo Maritime Center and the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship.

A feasibility study commissioned by the Great Lakes Historical Society and the port authority found that between 41,000 and 60,000 visitors will visit the museum annually. At a combined admission and per visitor store purchase figure of $12.50 per person, 41,000 visitors would generate about $500,000 annually for its operations. Total annual revenue, including membership, endowment and charitable giving, and grants are estimated at $1.225 million with expenses estimated at $1.075 million.

The museum, which moved here from Vermilion, uses original artifacts and images coordinated with both low-tech and high-tech interactive experiences to tell the story of the Great Lakes. The experience is to be both educational and entertaining. Paul LaMarre III, the director of the Monroe (Mich.) port called it the “Smithsonian of the Great Lakes.”

It is only fitting that it is in the port of Toledo, which is commonly referred to as the capital of the lower lakes, anyways,” LaMarre said. “But, this project has come a long way and has overcome many hurdles to bring together many assets of maritime history and culture to present the total package to future visitors.”

 

 

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