By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
For a state route, Ohio 582 north of Bowling Green is uncommonly narrow. So the Ohio Department of Transportation has plans to fix that problem.
But like so many issues, correcting one problem creates another.
ODOT plans to widen 3.5 miles of Route 582 from Mercer Road in Middleton Township to about 1,000 feet east of Ohio 199 in Webster Township. While that project will be an improvement for motorists, the widening plan is causing some concerns for those who live along the roadway.
But ODOT spokesperson Rebecca Shirling said some of the concerns are unfounded.
The “myth” that ODOT will need to take the church in Dunbridge for the widening is false, she said. However, ODOT will need to take down one block commercial building near the intersection of Dunbridge Road, plus one house and two sheds further east on Route 582.
A meeting was held earlier this year to explain the project to landowners along the route. Many had questions about the effect of the widening on their properties.
“Once we explained it, most of the people were OK,” Shirling said.
Another meeting was held this past week by a law firm that specializes in eminent domain law. Megan O’Neill, from the Krause & Kinsman Eminent Domain Law Firm, said about five landowners along Route 582 attended the meeting. They had concerns about the loss of their front yards and farmland, plus worries about construction so close to their homes.
Because of the ditch on the south side of Route 582, most of the widening will take place on the north side of the roadway.
“There’s essentially no shoulder on Route 582,” Shirling said. The lanes are 11 feet wide now, compared to the 12-foot standard for state routes.
“For being a state route, it is pretty narrow,” she said. “It feels tight when you’re driving it,” with the guardrail right on the edge of the lane of travel.
ODOT’s plan is to add four-foot shoulders on both sides of the road. Because of the ditch, most of that additional space will come from the north side of the road, except when it gets close to Route 199. Much of Route 582 was sporadically patched during the Interstate 75 construction, so this project will allow for the entire portion from Mercer to Route 199 to be repaved, Shirling said.
Also, the Route 582 bridge over Packer Creek is deteriorating and is proposed for replacement, along with replacement of the deck of the Carter Road bridge over Packer Creek. The I-75 ramps that were rebuilt during the I-75 widening will not need to be changed, Shirling said.
The project is expected to cost approximately $5 million.
The construction project is planned for April through November of 2019. Route 582 will be closed to through traffic during the project. Shirling said ODOT will work with residents and businesses to keep them informed about access to their properties.