Ohio DOT Unveils $2.1 Billion Infrastructure Plan

State leaders announced Tuesday that the department will tackle more than 1,100 projects across the state.

by Rick Armon, Akron Beacon Journal / April 1, 2016

(TNS) -- Ohio will work on nearly $2.1 billion worth of new and ongoing road and bridge projects this year, including $351 million worth in Summit County.

State leaders announced Tuesday that the Ohio Department of Transportation will tackle more than 1,100 projects across the state.

“We apologize for the noise, the dust, the inconvenience, the detours,” ODOT Director Jerry Wray said at a construction kick-off event outside National Interstate Insurance, with a busy Interstate 271 serving as a backdrop. “Know that it’s making Ohio a better place and you’ll be very happy when it’s done and it’ll be worth it.”

The state had $2.4 billion worth of projects last year.

The most expensive project in the Akron area is the reconstruction of the interchange at Interstates 76/77 and South Main Street/South Broadway in Akron.

That total work has been estimated at $149 million.

Contractors have been busy tearing down buildings to make way for the new interchange, which has been talked about for years.

The much-anticipated road work will begin this summer.

The project includes eliminating the nearby Wolf Ledges Parkway and Grant Street interchange, and turning South Main — now a one-way street — into a two-way road.

That portion of highway has been rated as one of the five most dangerous freeway stretches in Ohio.

ODOT Deputy Director Allen Biehl, who oversees the Akron regional office, said that there is an added benefit to the work.

“That project is going to reinvent the gateway into downtown Akron,” he said.

Biehl noted that the state is expected to spend more than $500 million on road and bridge projects in Summit County over the next five years.

In addition to announcing projects, ODOT officials also pleaded with motorists to slow down when they see orange barrels.

Last year, there were more than 6,000 crashes, 1,000 injuries and 30 fatalities in Ohio construction zones.

“That’s the worst year we’ve had in a decade,” Wray said. “People should slow down. They should be more cautious. They should be aware of the construction zone.

“Those folks are out there working, providing an improvement that’s going to make your life better. We certainly want them to go home healthy and happy to their families at the end of the day.”

Here’s a look at some other major projects in the Akron area, some of which were started in past years or began earlier this year:

Summit County

  • Interstate 76 in Norton and Barberton: A $97.6 million project to widen the highway to three lanes in each direction between state Route 21 and Central Avenue. 
    The “real meat and potatoes” of that project will begin next year, Biehl said.
  • Interstate 271 in Richfield and Richfield Township: A $49.8 million ongoing project to rebuild the highway from Broadview Road to the Ohio Turnpike.
  • Interstate 271 in Macedonia: An ongoing $48.1 million project to widen the highway from state Route 8 to the Cuyahoga County line.
  • State Route 18 in Bath and Copley townships and Fairlawn: A $9 million ongoing project to widen the road between South Hametown Road and Interstate 77. It also includes replacing a bridge and resurfacing the road.
  • Interstates 76/77 bridges at Johnston and Spicer streets in Akron: A $20.1 million ongoing project to eliminate the bridges by filling them in and relocating Johnston.
  • Interstate 76 and state Route 241 in Akron, Tallmadge and Springfield Township. A $9.7 million project to repair concrete pavement between Manchester Road and the Portage County line.
  • State Route 91 in Twinsburg: A $6 million project to widen and rebuild Route 91 between Post Road and Glenwood Drive. The work includes installing a roundabout at Route 91 and Glenwood.

Cuyahoga County

  • Interstate 77 in Brecksville and Richfield: A $38.8 million project to widen the highway to three lanes in each direction between the Ohio Turnpike and Oakes Road.
  • Interstate 271 in Bedford, Bedford Heights, Warrensville Heights and Oakwood: A $117.5 million project to widen the highway between the Summit County line and Miles Road.
  • Interstate 71 in Strongsville and Middleburg Heights: A $5.2 million project to resurface the highway between the Medina County line and U.S. Route 42.

Medina County

  • U.S. Route 42 and Fenn Road in Medina Township: A $3.5 million project to rebuild the intersection.
  • U.S. Route 42 in Medina: A $19.8 million project to widen and improve the road between Harding Street and Fenn Road.
  • State Route 94 in Wadsworth: A $12.4 million project to rehab the road from West Street to Smokerise Drive.

Portage County

  • State Route 14 in Ravenna Township: A $7.6 million project to reconstruct the Route 14/state Route 59 and Newton Falls Road intersection.
  • Interstate 76 in Rootstown and Edinburg townships: A $4.5 million resurfacing project from New Milford Road to Rock Springs Road.
  • Frost Road in Streetsboro: A $7.2 million project to widen the road from Interstate 480 to Phillips Parkway and from Sunny Lane to state Route 43.
  • State Route 261 in Kent: A $3.4 million project to rebuild bridge decks and paint two structures over Plum Creek and the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad.

Stark County

  • State Route 43 in North Canton and Plain Township: A $20.4 million project to widen Route 43 between 55th Street and Applegrove Street.
  • State Route 800 in Canton Township: An $8.3 million project to widen the road from 33rd Street to 43rd Street to include turn lanes.
  • U.S. Route 30 in Perry and Canton townships: A $3.4 million resurfacing project between state Route 267 and the western Canton city limit.
  • State routes 21 and 236 in Perry, Lawrence and Jackson townships: A $3.3 million project to resurface Route 21 between Massillon and Butterbridge Road Northwest, and Route 236 from Massillon to Portage Street.
  • U.S. Routes 30 and 62, and Interstate 77 in Canton and Canton Township: A $14.3 million project to repair the pavement and resurface Route 30 from Canton to state Route 43/Waynesburg Drive, along with bridge repairs.

Wayne County

  • State Route 83 and Smithville Western Road in Wooster: A $2 million project to install a roundabout.
  • State Route 21 in Chippewa Township: A $1.3 million maintenance project between the Stark and Summit county lines.

©2016 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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