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Akron-Cleveland Road bridge replacement could close road

10/18/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

The Boston Township trustees are concerned about how an Akron-Cleveland Road bridge replacement project in 2014 will affect township businesses and fire and rescue services.

The bridge, just south of state Route 303 on Akron-Cleveland Road, is scheduled for replacement in 2014, according to Trustee Chair Amy Anderson. One option for reconstruction of the four-lane bridge would close the road to traffic for 120 days, she said at the board’s Oct. 10 meeting. The closure would force Valley Fire District personnel to detour around the road and double response times, she said. Anderson and other trustees also expressed concern the complete road closure would have a negative effect on businesses along Akron-Cleveland Road.

An alternate plan, which would maintain traffic throughout the construction, would extend construction time, Anderson said. Boston Heights will have the final say in which construction plan is used, she said. Public comment still is being accepted on the project, she added.

According to the Congressional Record, U.S, Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-District 14) obtained $750,000 in federal earmarks to replace the bridge, which last was renovated 35 years ago. Metro Parks, Serving Summit County and the Ohio Department of Transportation will contribute toward the replacement. The Metro Parks Bike and Hike Trail traffic will be maintained throughout construction, Anderson said.

In other news:

• The Summit County Planning Commission is expected to consider a rezoning request from the township at its Oct. 18 meeting. Boston’s Zoning Commission has proposed rezoning 617 parcels from a Residential zoning district to an Economic Activity district. The rezoning would allow the township to capture income tax from employees within the district.

• Trustees awarded a contract for senior snowplowing to Baker Snow and Ice Management at a rate of $30 per driveway. The contract is pending submission of a worker’s compensation certificate.

• Trustees also discussed noise generated by Ohio Turnpike traffic as it passes through the township. Trustee Gerald Ritch said township residents, including him, have seen a dramatic increase in road noise since the turnpike was widened to six lanes and many old growth trees were removed in 2003.

Ritch said he has had no luck getting the Ohio State Highway Patrol to enforce the no engine brake regulation and unmuffled engine brake noise rattles the windows of homes just off the turnpike, he said.

Ritch said he has been seeking assistance from local government representatives, but has had no response from state Rep. Marilyn Slaby (R-District 41). He said state Sen. Frank LaRose (R-District 27) said there was not enough population density to warrant a sound barrier wall for the residents.

“It’s very disappointing,” Ritch said.

The next regular Boston Board of Trustees meeting will be Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the administrative offices at Boston Township Hall, located at the corner of Main Street and Riverview Road in Peninsula.

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