Nearly 17 years ago, six village officials visited Washington, D.C., in hopes of improving traffic safety through Wellington.
Former council president Fred Alspach, former fire chief Robert Walker, mayor Barbara O’Keefe, Bob Dupee, Bill Brumfield, and Barb Libey worked together in the spring of 1998 to address Wellington’s need for an underpass.
Alspach said the village started to see an increase in CSX trains passing through the village. That’s when officials knew they had to address traffic safety.
The six-member group testified in the capital for the village’s need of an underpass. In following years, residents twice voted in favor of the construction project. Both votes passed by a two-to-one margin.
Alspach was on hand Wednesday to see his work come to fruition as the underpass opened and cars surged through the tunnel for the first time.
“This is very close to the original drawing,” he remarked.”This is great.”
Walker thanked the residents on the Enterprise’s Facebook page for their support with the whole project.
“Our safety services and the community will benefit by not being delayed by trains on a daily basis,” he said. “The Wellington Grade Separation Committee should be proud of this project.”
“It’s the second best thing to happen to the village,” said Alspach, who believes the industrial park is the best part of Wellington.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-647-3171 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.
Valerie Urbanik | Wellington Enterprise
Former Wellington village council president Fred Alspach talks with Ohio Sen. Gayle Manning about underpass, which he believes is the second best thing to ever happen to Wellington.