The project will begin Monday and will close Central Avenue between North Reynolds and Corey roads for 150 days. A detour has been established.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Construction is underway scheduled to start on Monday on the Central Avenue Bridge over the Ottawa River in front of Wildwood Metropark, closing the stretch of avenue between North Reynolds and Corey roads for five months.

Drivers will have to make a five-mile detour, going up Sekar Road, westbound on I-475, then southbound on US-23 to return to Central Avenue.

Area organizations had to adjust to the detour, which was further complicated by the fact that the Secar Road bridge near the University of Toledo campus was also is being built.

Faith leaders at Epworth United Methodist, just off Central Avenue between the closures, have been preparing their congregation for a new route to church for the past six weeks.

“We gave them some tutorials, ‘You’re coming from the mall, this is where you turn,'” said Susan Rex, an employee at Epworth United.

Notes and maps were added to church bulletins, and some members were even taught the best routes.

“Hopefully it’s not going to be a huge setback for us, but we think we’ve prepared everyone to the best of their ability,” Rex said.

Epworth United is just one example of how residents of the west Toledo/Ottawa Hills region will have to adjust to construction projects over the next few months.

Ottawa Hills Village Administrator John Wentlick said his office is monitoring the new traffic pattern.

“In the village, we’ll be monitoring traffic to make sure people obey the law,” Wentlick said.

While the Ohio Department of Transportation can only recommend that people use other state routes, there are other shortcuts that local residents are likely to take.

Corey Road cuts through the bypass and connects to I-475, but it’s a residential road that doesn’t use major street traffic.

But Corey Road residents WTOL 11 spoke with said they aren’t too concerned about the possibility of more traffic near their homes.

Wentlick agreed with their assessment and said his office is not concerned about excessive traffic on residential roads in the area.

Instead, Wentlick is expecting some confused drivers.

“I’m sure we’ll get some of that and we’ll just try to educate the drivers as they go,” he said.

To avoid as much confusion as possible, Wentlick is asking local residents to follow Epworth United’s lead and plan ahead for increased drive times.

“Give yourself extra time,” he said. “It’s worth it in the long run.”

The Secor Road bridge has been under construction since January and is expected to reopen in July. The Central Avenue bridge is expected to open in August.

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