The Ohio Department of Transportation has been handed the keys to its new Fulton County garage, which was completed slightly ahead of the facilities it will join in a new complex in Dover Township.
The department’s 31,000 square foot facility on State Route 108 was substantially finished by the beginning of August, said Rebecca Shirling, ODOT public information officer. Ownership has been transferred from the project’s contractor, Megen Construction of Cincinnati.
Situated behind Fulton County’s new Heritage Center, the main garage will feature a double wash bay for trucks and a 3,000 square foot section dedicated to storing equipment for county EMS and Wauseon Fire Department equipment. The garage and a cold storage center for equipment cover more than an acre of property.
The ODOT portion of the 11-acre complex includes a 12,000 square foot shed for road salt and brine with an 8,000 ton capacity. It also has a decanting station for drying waste from street sweeping and catch basins. The $8.6 million ODOT project was financed through the state.
All ODOT road equipment will be moved from its present garage on Shoop Avenue in Wauseon, a 1940s structure Shirling said the department has outgrown. She said equipment has grown larger since the Wauseon garage was built for the former Highway Department in the 1940s, a problem that likely wasn’t anticipated.
“The current garage is a very tight squeeze. They have to strategically fit each piece of equipment in there in order for it to fit,” she said. “It’s a world of difference at the new one.”
The new location, across from the Fulton County Fairgrounds, will make the garage more accessible for trucks, “and it’s not right in town, with all the traffic,” Shirling added.
She said while ODOT has collaborated in the past with municipalities, co-existing with county buildings in a complex is unique.
“This is taking it to the next step of sharing the property,” she said. “This is so that all the entities can better serve the public. It’s a more intimate collaboration. It’s the direction we’re looking for in the future.”
A public open house and ribbon cutting ceremony will be scheduled. Shirling said ODOT knows county residents will be interested in the facility, “and we want them to be able to see it.”
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.