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Construction season kicks off in Akron area

4/18/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Bath, Copley, Norton, Richfield get state projects

GREATER AKRON — Work got under way this week on some of the more than $100 million in road construction projects this year in Summit County.

The Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) District 4 officials announced its slate of work for the year April 10, which includes new projects in Bath, Copley, Norton and Richfield. Included is a nearly $50 million improvement project to replace pavement on Interstate 271 in Richfield that will take more than two years.

There are $24.8 million in currently active projects in the county, with another $79.5 million planned to start for this year, according to District 4 Deputy Director Anthony Urankar, for a total of $104.3 million in road work.

This year the agency is continuing an effort to be business friendly by stepping up efforts to notify businesses affected by major projects. Locally, ODOT will distribute a Closure Notification Brochure in the area of improvements to State Road in Cuyahoga Falls.

“This partnership between ODOT and local business has ensured that large construction projects can occur in a business heavy environment and still keep Ohio’s economy moving forward,” Urankar said.

Justin Chesnic, District 4’s public information officer, said ODOT officials will visit businesses in the State Road area starting next week to let them know what to expect when construction starts.

Here’s a rundown of ODOT’s 2013 projects in the West Side Leader area and their current statuses:

  • Akron: Drivers on Interstates 76 and 77 in Akron will see resurfacing of I-76 at the central interchange and on I-77 from the Kenmore leg to state Route 162 (Copley Road) starting this spring. The project also includes two bridge overlays on I-76 eastbound and westbound at the central interchange over I-77 northbound and state Route 8. ODOT officials said weekend ramp closures will occur during the project this summer but will be timed to not conflict with major events, such as the All-American Soap Box Derby. Detours will be posted. The $1.4 million project will be completed in August.
    Also, the Akron Innerbelt, state Route 59, will be improved with a project starting in September. The road will be resurfaced from I-76 to East Market Street. The project also includes minor bridge repairs to 21 structures. Occasional weekend closures will occur for bridge overlays, and all detours will be posted.
  • Copley: State Route 162 will be improved with a resurfacing project expected to begin in May. The project includes the road from the Medina County line to the I-77 interchange in West Akron. The $2.3 million project will be completed in the fall. At times, traffic will be reduced to one lane with flaggers during construction.
  • Cuyahoga Falls: A project to widen State Road from Bath Road to Steels Corners is expected to begin in early May. Some utility work has already begun, Chesnic said. The project also includes the addition of turn lanes, drainage and signal improvements. The $9.2 million project is planned for completion in fall 2014. Traffic should be maintained throughout the project, but there will be brief periods when one lane of traffic will be open and flaggers will direct motorists. ODOT is working with businesses in the State Road area to inform them of construction.
  • Norton: Interstate 76 drivers will see the replacement of two bridges: Clark Mill Road over I-76 and Summit Road over I-76. Both Clark Mill and Summit roads will be closed for 90 days, and detours will be posted. The $3.7 million project will begin in October, and the target date for completion is November 2014.
  • Richfield: Starting this week, ODOT crews are working on the Interstate 77 bridge over state Route 303. As of April 15, Route 303 was closed under the bridge through tomorrow, April 19. The detour is state Route 176/Wheatley Road to I-77 to I-271 to Route 303. A minimum of one lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction at all times on the bridge during nonpeak travel times. The entire bridge project, which also includes an Akron bridge and some in Stark County, is expected to be completed in July. Its cost is $300,000.
    Also, pavement replacement will begin in a few weeks on I-271 from Broadview Road to the Ohio Turnpike. The extensive project, which takes place in both the village and township, also includes repairs to nine bridges, including two over I-77, Route 303 over I-271, state Route 176 over I-271, Brecksville Road over I-271 and various ramps at the I-77/271 interchange. ODOT officials said the I-271 northbound ramp to the I-77 northbound ramp will be closed for 90 days at a time to be determined. The target completion date for the $49.8 million project is November 2015.

For more information, go to www.dot.state.oh.us and click on District 4.

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