ODOT, it's time to get off the dime

Folks on the west side of Sandusky know what it is to be stuck behind a train. Some property owners and business owners there are al
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Folks on the west side of Sandusky know what it is to be stuck behind a train. Some property owners and business owners there are also stuck behind ODOT.

A planned overpass, which whenever it's built will relieve the traffic tie-ups that result from slow (and occasionally stopped) trains heading for the coal docks or the sidings between Venice Road and West Monroe Street, will necessitate knocking down some homes. The owners of those homes mostly decided to let the Ohio Department of Transportation buy their homes so they could get themselves out of the way of the project.

Five years down the road, they're still waiting for ODOT to come through, even as the rest of their fellow Sanduskians wait for word on when the project will start.

Meanwhile, they can't sell their homes -- who wants to buy something slated for the bulldozer? -- which for most people means there's no source of money with which to buy another home, but they still must maintain them so they have someplace livable in which to live.

The irony is, many of the people who will have to move once the project gets going don't dispute the need for the overpass; getting stuck behind a slow-mover on Venice Road or Tiffin Avenue is truly a pain, and if you're driving a fire truck on an emergency call, potentially life-threatening.

A promise is a promise. ODOT owes it to Sandusky to get off the dime.

And also because a promise is a promise, ODOT needs to remember the sacrifice the homeowners agreed to make -- they could have gone to court and tied this up for years in an entirely righteous eminent-domain battle. ODOT also owes it to the homeowners to get off the dime, and do right by them. The homeowners agreed to move. It's time for ODOT to make it possible for them to do so.