Interstate 475 in Ohio is a bypass route for Interstate 75 in the Toledo metropolitan area. It connects directly to the U.S. 23 freeway near Sylvania, then turns due east to meet Interstate 75 near downtown Toledo.
Interstate 475 first opened as a section of relocated U.S. 23 between West Central Avenue (U.S. 20) and Monroe Street (Ohio 51) in Sylvania. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on November 2, 1962 for the $5 million project. Traffic began use on the new road a few days later once sign and guard rail installation was completed. It tied into a preexisting section of U.S. 23 expressway leading north into Michigan.1 The stretch of new U.S. 23 north to Dundee opened to traffic on December 11, 1959 at a cost of $8.4-million.2
The two spans carrying Interstate 475 across the Maumee River were constructed from 1962 to 1964 at a cost of $1.4-million. The bridges were unique in that they curved on both the vertical and horizontal planes, with the vertical element banked at 0.025 feet per lineal foot. Separated by 84 feet, the seven-span bridges are supported by 25 foot high piers totalling 1,481 feet in length.3 The bridges opened along with I-475 southeast from U.S. 24 (Anthony Wayne Trail) to U.S. 25 (Dixie highway), south of Perrysburg, in fall 1966. The 2.8 mile segment extending east rom the bridges to U.S. 25 was built at a cost of $3.1 million and completed in 1964. The $2.6 million extension north to the interchange with U.S. 24 was under construction from October 10, 1964 to November 30, 1966 at a cost of $2.6 million.4
The freeway north from U.S. 24 to U.S. 20 (West Central Avenue) was dedicated on November 21, 1968. The 8.3-mile stretch of I-475 cost $12.5-million.5 The 2.1-mile section of I-475 between Corey Road (Exit 15) and Secor Road (Exit 17) was constructed from spring 1968 to November 1969 at a cost of $6.7-million.6 This segment tied into the final link of I-475, the mile long freeway between Secor Road and Douglas Road. Bids for the piece were received on June 17, 1969 with completion set for November 30, 1970.7 The Northwest Expressway was completed on December 15, 1970. The northeast end of I-475 defaulted traffic onto I-75 southbound, as the segment of I-75 north was still under construction.8
Under a 10-year $5 billion transportation improvement plan announced August 6, 2003 by Governor
Bob Taft, Interstate 475 will expand from four to six lanes between Corey Road (Exit 15) southward
to the Maumee River crossing. Additionally the Interstate 75 & 475 north interchange will be reconstructed and improved. A three-year, six-cent hike to the state's motor fuels tax will help cover the costs of these projects.9
Traveling south on Interstate 475 and U.S. 23, the freeway turns sharply east after crossing the Maumee River southwest of Toledo near Maumee. Traveling east, the second to final exit is Exit 2, Junction Ohio 25 south to Bowling Green (Former U.S. 25). Interstate 75 is the last exit and southern terminus of Interstate 475 in Ohio. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Ohio 25 is the old alignment of U.S. 25 between Toledo and Cygnet (Exit 171 from Interstate 75). While there are other state maintained sections of Old U.S. 25, most of the route in Ohio today is locally maintained, either at the county, township, or city level. Certain sections, such as the routes through Piqua and Lima, are signed as business loops from Interstate 75. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Southbound Interstate 475 and U.S. 23 reaches Exit 2, Junction Ohio 25 north to Perrysburg and south to Bowling Green. The overhead signs now refer to Interstate 75 south to Dayton (right exit) and north to Toledo (left exit). Note that U.S. 23 south traffic should take Interstate 75 north to Exit 193. Photo taken 09/02/05.
To Columbus, the highway department preferred route (and arguably the fastest route) is to take Interstate 75 south to U.S. 68/Ohio 15 south near Findlay, Ohio 15 southeast, and U.S. 23 south through Upper Sandusky, Marion, and Delaware. Photo taken 09/02/05.
The left two lanes connect to northbound Interstate 75 as well as provide the continuation of U.S. 23 south. The right lane provides an exit to Interstate 75 south to Findlay, Lima, Dayton, and Cincinnati. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Interstate 475 comes to an end at this point, as the ramps divide into the two directions of Interstate 75. There is no END shield present. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Perspective from Interstate 75 south
Interstate 75 southbound at Exit 192 for the northbound beginning of Interstate 475, and the transfer of U.S. 23 from Interstate 75. Interstate 475 and U.S. 23 overlap for 14 miles, bypassing Toledo to the west. Photo taken by Adam Prince and Jeff Kitsko (06/08/02).
Perspective from Interstate 75 north
This mileage sign is the first to mention the pending junction with Interstate 475 along northbound Interstate 75, about four miles south of Exit 192. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (07/04/06).
Shortly thereafter is this sign announcing the upcoming Interstate 475/U.S. 23 interchange on Interstate 75 northbound, two miles from the exit. Note the positioning of the assembly on the left side of the roadway. This and the following series of signs are all fully reflectorized with Interstate shields with larger numbers. This is a new trend for the Buckeye State. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (07/04/06).
To Interstate 80-90 (Ohio Turnpike), use Interstate 75 north. There is currently no connection to Interstate 80-90 from Interstate 475. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (07/04/06).
Now within one mile of the Interstate 475/U.S. 23 interchange on Interstate 75 northbound. Note that the highest level of the upcoming three-level stack ahead (the ramp from Interstate 75 north to Interstate 475/U.S. 23 north) can be seen quite well from here. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (07/04/06).
The second to last guide sign on Interstate 75 north is found near the Perrysburg corporate limits before the split with Interstate 475/U.S. 23 at Exit 192. Note the change in signage with the new diagrammatic sign now in place (as of 2006). A full view of the three-level stack can be seen from this point. No lane has opened up yet on the left side for Interstate 475/U.S. 23, but the formation of that lane can be seen just beyond the overpass. Photos taken by Dan Garnell (01/22/03) and Steve Hanudel (07/04/06).
The final set of overhead signs at the exit itself. The exit sign on the ramp to Interstate 475/U.S. 23 north is for its first exit, Ohio 25 - Perrysburg, which is only 0.75 mile from here. U.S. 23 southbound enters Interstate 75 northbound and continues to the next interchange (Exit 193), where the highway leaves in tandem with U.S. 20 to Stony Ridge and Lemoyne. The original sign bridge was located close to the gore point of the exit (see 2003 photo); the newer assembly is further away from the gore point (see 2006 photo). Also note the lack of arrows on the older Interstate 475 and U.S. 23 exit sign. Photos taken by Dan Garnell (01/22/03) and Steve Hanudel (07/04/06).
After the split with Interstate 475, this mileage sign provides the distance to Toledo via Interstate 75 north: 10 miles or 16 kilometers. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (07/04/06).
The Perrysburg water tower comes into view as traffic from Interstate 475 and U.S. 23 south merges onto Interstate 75 north. The next exit is the junction with U.S. 20 and U.S. 23 south; Interstate 75 north and U.S. 23 south share a brief overlap between Exits 192 and 193. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (07/04/06).
The first appearance of Interstate 75 signage on eastbound Interstate 475 is at Exit 19, Central Avenue. Interstate 75 travels north to Detroit and south to downtown Toledo. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Interstate 475 eastbound, approaching its terminus with Interstate 75. The last mainline exit is for Exit 19/Central Avenue. Photo taken 09/02/05.
The mainline of Interstate 475 northbound transitions to Interstate 75 southbound, which is signed for Downtown Toledo. Photo taken 09/02/05.
This diagrammatic sign shows the lane configurations for the pending interchange with Interstate 75 in Toledo. The left lane connects to Interstate 75 north to Interstate 280 and Detroit, while the right three lanes transition onto southbound Interstate 75. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Now reaching the northern terminus of Interstate 475, the mainline partitions at the ramp for Interstate 75. Guide signage is in place for the first northbound exit for Interstate 75 northbound (Exit 205A) on the ramp to the left, while the first exit on southbound (via the lanes to the right) is Junction U.S. 24/Detroit Avenue at Exit 203B. Photo taken 09/02/05.
The ramp connecting Interstate 475 east to Interstate 75 north has one exit on it for Jeep Parkway and Willys Parkway (Exit 205A). Note the use of the Interstate 75 exit numbering, even though this particular ramp does not connect from the mainline of Interstate 75. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Perspective from Interstate 75 north
As northbound Interstate 75 approaches Exit 203A, Bancroft Street is a graphical overhead for the southbound beginning of Interstate 475/Exit 204), which is two miles ahead of this point. Photo taken 09/02/05.
The next three exits along northbound Interstate 75 are: Exit 203A, Bancroft Street; Exit 203B, Junction U.S. 24/Detroit Avenue; and Exit 204, Junction Interstate 475 west to U.S. 23. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Northbound Interstate 75 reaches Exit 203A, Bancroft Street. A second overhead in the distance shows a second diagrammatic sign for Interstate 475 (see below). Photo taken 09/02/05.
The next exit is Exit 203B, Junction U.S. 24/Detroit Avenue. After that interchange, the left three lanes connect to westbound Interstate 475, while the right two lanes continue north along Interstate 75 toward Detroit. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Northbound Interstate 75 reaches Exit 203B, Junction U.S. 24/Detroit Avenue. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Continuing northbound on Interstate 75, a sign bridge delineates the two left-hand lanes for Interstate 475 southbound. The control city of Sylvania and Ann Arbor relate to the connection Interstate 475 makes with U.S. 23. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Second to last sign bridge for the Interstate 75/475 split on northbound. The original button copy sign was replaced with a reflective, diagrammatic sign between 2002 and 2005. The exit for U.S. 23 is located six miles to the west. Photos taken 09/02/05 and by Don Hargraves (08/02).
For through traffic on Interstate 75 north, the first exit after the Interstate 475 split is Exit 204B, Jeep Parkway and Willys Parkway. Photo taken 09/02/05.
This picture shows the westbound beginning of Interstate 475 as seen from Interstate 75 northbound. Note that in the distance is Exit 204B for Jeep and Willys Parkways. An exit ramp for these roadways is situated on the eastbound Interstate 475 ramp to Interstate 75 north as well. Photo taken 09/02/05.
This is the ramp connecting northbound Interstate 75 to westbound Interstate 475. The first exit is Exit 19, Jackman Road and Central Avenue. Interstate 475 is signed east-west between Interstate 75 and U.S. 23; it changes to north-south after the U.S. 23 interchange. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Perspective from Interstate 75 south
Shifting attention to Interstate 75 southbound, the one-mile guide signage for Interstate 475. Exit 205A for Jeep/Willys Parkway is situated on the left, just ahead of the split with Interstate 475. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (08/02).
Southbound Interstate 75 at Exit 205A, with the right lane becoming exit-only for Interstate 475. The first six miles of Interstate 475 are orientated east-west, between Interstate 75 and U.S. 23. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (08/02).
Approaching the Interstate 75/475 division on Interstate 75 southbound. The control city of Maumee is put in place of Sylvania for Interstate 475. The southern suburb of Toledo is located 14 miles to the south and west on Interstate 475. Meanwhile Interstate 75 curves back to the southeast through downtown Toledo. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (08/02).
Perspective from Interstate 475 west
After the ramps from northbound and southbound Interstate 75 merge together to form Interstate 475, the freeway has four lanes, with the right lane exit only for the first offramp: Exit 19, Jackman Road and Central Avenue. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Westbound Interstate 475 reaches Exit 19, Jackman Road and Central Avenue. The next exit is Exit 18B, Douglas Road. The junction with U.S. 23 is Exit 14, about five miles west of here. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Interstate 475 is designated as the Rosa Parks Highway, named after the civil rights activist. Photo taken 09/02/05.
This is the first reassurance shield on westbound Interstate 475, just prior to the Douglas Road offramp. Photo taken 09/02/05.
The next two exits are Exit 18B, Douglas Road and Exit 18A, Junction Ohio 51/Monroe Street. Notably, the freeway will lose its right two lanes and will shift to a four-lane freeway configuration. Photo taken 09/02/05.
A few miles east of the Ohio 51/Monroe Street interchange, westbound Interstate 475 approaches Exit 14, Junction U.S. 23. For a bypass of Detroit for points north along Interstate 75, use U.S. 23 north. To the south, Interstate 475 changes directions and bypasses metropolitan Toledo, joining Interstate 75 south of Perrysburg. Photo taken 09/02/05.
This is the final westbound reassurance shield for Interstate 475; the next shield will be for southbound Interstate 475. Photo taken 09/02/05.
The left lane carries Interstate 475 south toward Holland and Maumee, while the right lane connects to U.S. 23 north to Sylvania and Michigan. Photo taken 09/02/05.
U.S. 23 south will merge with Interstate 475 south to bypass Toledo, then connect with U.S. 20 southeast of Perrysburg to continue its journey south toward Fostoria, Upper Sandusky, Marion, Delaware, and Columbus. Photo taken 09/02/05.
The interchange between Interstate 475 and U.S. 23 is a tri-level stack, with the lowest level of the stack carrying the mainline of Interstate 475 south. The middle deck carries through traffic on U.S. 23, while the top deck carries the connection from southbound U.S. 23 to eastbound Interstate 475. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Perspective from Interstate 475/U.S. 23 north
After the U.S. 20 and Ohio 120 interchange, northbound Interstate 475 and U.S. 23 prepare to split at Exit 14. Use the right two lanes to connect to Interstate 475 east; use the left two lanes to connect to U.S. 23 north. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Interstate 475 and U.S. 23 split here (Exit 14). U.S. 23 travels north through Sylvania, then enters Michigan before continuing north to Ann Arbor and Flint, where it rejoins Interstate 75 and thus bypasses Detroit. The entire U.S. 23 corridor between Toledo and Flint is freeway. Interstate 475 turns east toward downtown Toledo and Interstate 75. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Perspective from U.S. 23 south
Upon departing Michigan, southbound U.S. 23 and eastbound U.S. 223 first approach the junction with Ohio 51/Monroe Street to Ohio 184/Alexis Road. Not signed here but relevant is that U.S. 223 silently exits onto this ramp and is greeted with an END U.S. 223 shield assembly at the top of the ramp. U.S. 223 used to continue southeast from this interchange, but it was changed to Ohio 51 in 1987. Photo taken 09/02/05.
The first signage for Interstate 475 appears on southbound after the U.S. 223/Ohio 51/Monroe Street interchange. Photo taken 09/02/05.
This sign seems to recommend through traffic to Interstate 80-90/Ohio Turnpike to use Interstate 475/U.S. 23 south. Using this route is more direct, but the turnpike and Interstate 475 currently do not enjoy a direct connection between them. The connection is achieved via Exit 6 from Interstate 475, which connects to the U.S. 20 interchange from Interstate 80-90. Photo taken 09/02/05.
The right two lanes of Interstate 475/U.S. 23 continue south to bypass Toledo, with connections to the Toledo Express Airport via Ohio 2 or the Ohio Turnpike. The left lane transitions onto eastbound Interstate 475 en route to downtown Toledo. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Southbound U.S. 23 meets Interstate 475 at this tri-level stack. The left lane departs toward Interstate 475 east, using the top level of the stack. The right two lanes continue south to the airport, Ohio Turnpike, and Interstate 75 south to Dayton and U.S. 23 south to Columbus. Do not use Exit 13, Junction U.S. 20 and Ohio 120/Central Avenue to the Ohio Turnpike. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Perspective from Ohio 51/Monroe Street west
Westbound Ohio 51/Monroe Street (former U.S. 223) approaches the merge with Ohio 184/Alexis Road in Sylvania, just south of the Ohio-Michigan State Line. The Ohio 51 and Ohio 184 intersection is followed by the junction with U.S. 23 north to Michigan and south to Interstate 475 and Toledo. This is the first time that westbound U.S. 223 shields appear on signs on westbound Ohio 51. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Westbound Ohio 51/Monroe Street (former U.S. 223) meets Ohio 184/Alexis Road at this intersection. Note that no right turn is permitted onto eastbound Ohio 184/Alexis Road. Photo taken 09/02/05.
The first ramp offers the connection from westbound Ohio 51/Monroe Street to northbound U.S. 23 and westbound U.S. 223. After crossing over U.S. 23, the second ramp connects to U.S. 23 south to Interstate 475. Photo taken 09/02/05.
Ohio 51 ends at this traffic signal. A left turn connects to southbound U.S. 23 to Interstate 475, while Monroe Street continues west through Sylvania before entering rural areas along the state line west of metropolitan Toledo. Photo taken 09/02/05.
"Central-To-Monroe Leg Of New U.S. 23 Opened In Full-Dress Ceremony---Then Closed To Traffic." Toledo Blade, November 3, 1962.
"Two New Ohio-Michigan Links Climax Decade Of Highway Plans." Toledo Blade, December 27, 1959.
"2 Curved Bridges Designed To Carry Interstate 475 Over Maumee River." Toledo Blade, October 29, 1962.
"$6.6 Million I-475 Bypass Opening Near." Toledo Blade, October 19, 1966.
"Two Most Exciting Years Forecast By Rhodes At I-475 Link Dedication." Toledo Blade, November 21, 1968.
"Section Of I-475 To Be Done Soon, But It Won't Be Open Until Summer." Toledo Blade, September 12, 1969.
"Bids Due June 17 On I-475 Stretch." Toledo Blade, May 30, 1969.
"Expressway's Opening To Bring Some Relief, Some Headaches." Toledo Blade, December 4, 1970.
"Taft plan would widen I-75, I-475." The Toledo Blade, August 7, 2003.