The Wheeling Street road widening project, the addition of high paying jobs, and the opening of a grocery store helped spur growth in Oregon last year.
Construction of the Wheeling Street widening project began in June, 2010, while planning stretched back to the 1990s.
As part of the $11 million project, Wheeling Street was widened to five lanes from Navarre Avenue to just south of Pickle Road and to three lanes from just south of Pickle Road to Brown Road.
|The first Aldi in Oregon opened in 2011. (Press file photo by Ken Grosjean)
The Wheeling Street bridge also expanded to six lanes from two. Closed for most of 2011, it finally opened late last year.
Congestion in the area will be greatly reduced, resulting in a more fluid movement of goods and services in the city.
“The project will improve traffic congestion at the Wheeling Street and I-280 interchange and improve air quality for the surrounding area,” said Public Service Director Paul Roman. “The additional road widening between Pickle Road and Brown Road will also accommodate future commercial development along Wheeling Street.”
Traffic signal timing and right-of-way restoration is still ongoing, said Roman.
Seventy-five percent of the project was federally funded, though the city had to pay 100-percent of the right of way.
The city also completed the Big Ditch improvement project last year. “It ensures the structural integrity of Stadium Road and increases storm drainage capacity for both the Big Ditch and Wolf Creek Watersheds,” said Roman. The new wetlands in South Shore Park will also improve storm water quality for Maumee Bay.
Also, the elevated tank and watermain project was completed last year. The painting of the existing elevated water storage tank at Coy Road ensures the structural integrity of the tank. “The new 16-inch watermain installed along the Toledo Edison Towers, between Seaman Road and Navarre Avenue, allows the new water storage tank at Lallendorf Road to distribute water pressure more evenly across the city,” said Roman.
Last year, Rieter Automotive announced plans for an $8 million expansion of its automobile supply operation that would bring in 150 new jobs.
Logan Creek Construction built the new 106,500-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Oregon industrial area.
Rieter Automotive North America, Inc., a subsidiary of Autoneum, based in Switzerland, is considered one of the global technology leaders in acoustics and thermal management solutions for motor vehicles. Customers include leading automobile producers in the key markets of Europe, North America and Asia. The Oregon facility currently provide components for the domestic OEM’s and employs over 300 full-time employees. The new facility will be used to expand its product offerings for the North American automotive industry.
It is the second major expansion for the Oregon facility in the last four years. The first expansion in 2007 was approximately 80,000-square-feet during the launch of a program for the Ford F150.
A new Aldi grocery store opened last year at 3728 Navarre Avenue across from Wal-Mart. The 17,887-square-foot store, made of brick, is the first Aldi in Oregon. There are several in the area, including one on Woodville Road in Northwood, two in Toledo, and one each in Rossford and Sylvania.
Aldi designed an access road that will serve all of the 20 acres surrounding it, Gary Thompson, the former director of the Oregon Economic Development Foundation, said last year. “From a development standpoint, we’re excited about the access road,” said Thompson. “There will still be room at Aldi to put a big box store, theater, or something like that on the property. If you think about it in terms of the Wal-Mart development, Aldi is really sitting in an outlot, waiting for something bigger to happen around it. There was always an argument on those parcels of property over who has the stop light, and what is the value of the stop light relative to the other parcels. That’s part of the reason that it took so long to develop. Aldi solved the problem. They came in, bought the lot where the stop light is, put a road in so all the land can have access to it.”
The city entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority to create a building improvement project designed to save energy and improve the environmental performance of city owned buildings.
“This is the first step in the process that can allow us to upgrade our infrastructure, without having to become a capital line item, ultimately with the objective of actually lowering our annual operating costs each year through that process,” said Oregon City Administrator Mike Beazley.
The memorandum of understanding will allow the city to partner with the Port to take advantage of a $15 million grant the Port received from the Department of Energy.
The city purchased a solar powered message board that is expected to improve traffic safety. The LED message board with changeable scrolling copy is predominantly geared towards vehicle safety, according to Mayor Mike Seferian.
Roman said the message board, which was purchased through the Federal Supply Schedule Contract Program administered by the General Services Administration, is used for construction projects.
“In terms of warning the traffic of an upcoming closure, this probably has to be one of our best tools of communicating to the public,” said Roman. “As much as you want to try other methods of letting people know about something, when you see the same sign on your way to and from work, it sticks in the brain.”