Decades ago, before I-75 replaced it in Ohio, Dixie Highway (U.S. 25) was the main road south from the Toledo area. From Cygnet to Perrysburg, it followed the path of today's Ohio Rt. 25, with the U.S. 25 designation retired north of Cincinnati and what remains of the road between there and Cygnet surviving mostly as county roads (often, but not always, County Road 25A).
ODOT's recent re-decking of the Cygnet Road bridge over I-75, however, included installation of new signs that included in this accidental tribute to the old U.S. 25 on the westbound side of Cygnet. Note that the more distant sign in the picture has the correct shield for an Ohio state highway.
If you're a fan of local highway history, get out and get your picture of this sign now, because it may not be there too long. ODOT officials say it's a contractor error and they plan to get a correct sign posted there.
I have received several e-mails, meanwhile, from a reader commenting about ODOT's inconsistent signs along Ohio 51 through the Toledo area. Officially, it's now a north-south route, even though the city street it mostly follows in Toledo and Sylvania, Monroe Street, is considered by those communities to be an east-west street.
Historically, ODOT had posted Route 51 as north-south between U.S. 20 (south of Elmore) and the Maumee River, and east-west in Toledo and Sylvania. But a few years ago, someone at the department decided it should be north-south all the way -- a choice I don't personally agree with, but nobody asked me -- and since then most signs have been changed to reflect that decision.
It's taking them a while to change the signs. On westbound I-475 in Toledo, this one remains with the "West" designator even though replacements, installed during the on-going freeway reconstruction project, list Exit 18A as serving 51 North. ODOT says all other signs showing Route 51 as an east-west highway will be replaced by the end of next year.
However, not all of the signs with that information are old. ODOT recently replaced signs on the I-280 ramps to Woodville Road, and apparently whoever designed them hadn't gotten the memo about Route 51. Even though that piece of the highway has been north-south for a long time, signs on the exit ramps disagree.
I don't know what ODOT's plans are to change these.
Sign boo-boos do happen, of course. When ODOT first opened the Buckeye Basin Greenbelt Parkway ramp to the Veterans' Glass City Skyway, one of the signs there posted the highway as Ohio 280, rather than I-280. That was fixed fairly quickly after it was called to state officials' attention.
More recently, I noted that proposed state legislation stiffening penalties against wrong-way drivers on divided highways uses the term "interstate" as a synonym for a divided highway. Before voting on passage, the Ohio General Assembly should reconsider that language, because it's got a loophole a DUI lawyer could drive a truck through: not all divided highways are interstates (or, more importantly, Interstates).
So for the benefit of northwest Ohio's delegation to Columbus -- as well as David Fairclough Fine Jewelers' ad-copy writers, who persistently refer to U.S. 23 as Interstate 23 -- here's a quick primer on U.S. highways vs. Interstate highways in the Toledo area: I-75, I-80, I-90, I-280, and I-475 are interstates. U.S. 6, 20, 23, and 24, all of which have divided-highway sections in our area, are not, but that doesn't mean wrong-way drivers on them should get off with lighter penalties, nor should people on such divided state highways as Ohio 2 east of Camp Perry, or Ohio 15 between Findlay and Carey.
Oh, and do you think there is enough on this I-75 exit sign to advise drivers that Exit 192 to northbound I-475/U.S. 23 diverges to the left? The sign tells us so three different ways (the two LEFT placards plus the EXIT 192 being positioned on the top left), so there's really no excuse for anyone who misses their exit here.
By the way, there is no I-23 anywhere on the Interstate System. If there were, it would probably be somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, because in accordance with system numbering, it would be the next one west of I-25, which runs between El Paso, Albuquerque, Denver, Cheyenne, and Buffalo, Wyo. (where it junctions I-90). The next lowest-numbered north-south Interstate below I-25 is I-19 in Arizona.