Drivers across Summit County saw plenty of orange barrels in 2016 and more are ahead for 2017. While some road projects were completed, many are still ongoing and will be for a while.
The drive between the city of Akron and Green on Arlington Road is starting to become a little smoother. Construction began late summer on Arlington Road to improve the road through Springfield and Coventry Township.
Joe Paradise, Summit County deputy director of engineering, said resurfacing from 600 feet north of Killian Road to the Akron city limit is complete. Work is also nearly complete on new sidewalks, curb ramps and drive aprons from the Green corporate line to Killian Road.
"Signal work is 95 percent complete, we are just waiting on new controllers for Warner Road and Krumroy Road intersections," Paradise said. "The controllers should be installed mid-January and resolve the timing issues at these two intersections."
Work on the project is not expected to resume until early April depending on weather as construction crews will be paving the rest of Arlington Road from 600 feet north of Killian Road to the Green corporate line. Once the work begins again, it is expected to take 30 days to complete. Also, some remaining sidewalk, curb ramps and drive aprons will be finished along with new signage, pavement markings and planting grass in the spring.
Paradise said the only challenge on the project so far was a water line relocation, which took longer than expected due to unknown existing utilities and ground water conditions.
"All lanes will be open through the winter, work in the spring will require daily lane closures but no complete road closures," Paradise said. "As always thanks to the motoring public for their patience throughout the duration of this project."
SPICER STREET AND JOHNSON STREET PROJECT
Motorists may not know this project by name, but likely took a detour as a part of it. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) removed several bridges over Spicer Street and Johnson Street and brought in fill dirt to create a roadway.
As a part of this project, three ramps were closed to motorists.
"Those ramps were supposed to close for 120 days and they were right on time," Public Information Officer for ODOT District 4 Justin Chesnic said "They were supposed to reopen right after Thanksgiving, which they did."
The only work that remains is placing the top coat of asphalt in the spring and is expected to be done by July.
MAIN / BROADWAY PROJECT
One of the major projects ODOT is working on is an $84 million project creating a new Main and Broadway Street and interchange.
Currently the Wolf Ledges bridge over Interstate 76 is closed and will remain closed until April or May. Once the Wolf Ledges bridge is complete, then work will shift to the Grant Street bridge over Interstate 76. Construction is also ongoing to create the new Main and Broadway Street.
"The whole goal is basically instead of having Main and Broadway be two separate roads, we are combining them into one road with two lanes in each direction," Chesnic said. "It is going to create easy access from Interstate 76 to downtown."
Chesnic said right now a lot of things are being relocated where the new road will go and the new street should be done late this year or in early 2018. There will also be some work done on the highway for some pavement reconstruction.
"We are always going to maintain traffic to downtown Akron except for about a 10-day period sometime in 2018," Chesnic said.
The 10-day closure will allow for a ramp to be connected to Interstate 76 from the new Main Broadway Street.
To complete this work, ODOT will be closing the ramp from 77 north to 76 west and the ramp from Route 8 south to 76 west. The ramps are expected to close in the fall and be closed for an entire year.
Chesnic said motorists should check out dothedetour.org for the latest on the project, road closures and when ramps will be closing.
Traffic will still be able to flow east and west on 76, but it will be reduced to two lanes in each direction.
Chesnic said when the ramps close, the detour will be using I-277, better known as the Kenmore Leg. Prior to the closure of the ramps last year, ODOT restriped the Kenmore Leg to three lanes in each directions, restriped the north and south access points to the Kenmore Leg and restriped the Interstate 77 and I-277 interchange.
"What I will say is motorists had to get used to those configurations," Chesnic said. "For a couple weeks, we got a lot of people that said hey this is different what are you doing. After that initial time from the motorists, I would say it went pretty good."
The highway is going to remain restriped like it is because once ODOT is done with the Main Broadway project, work is going to start on a new central interchange project to re-do ramps, which will last until 2022.
"The configurations we have on the highways motorists need to get used to that because it is going to be like that another six or seven years easy," Chesnic said.
The central interchange project remains in design, so ODOT doesn’t know a lot about the specifics yet. Plans call for the ramp from 76 east to Route 8 north and the ramp from 76 west to 77 south will be lengthened.
"Basically, we are going to make it safer," Chesnic said. "We are going to reconfigure those ramps so you don’t have to slow down to 20 mph and it will be more gradual and you can maintain a little bit of a higher speed through there and you won’t have as sharp of a curve. "
The work around the central interchange is anticipated to start in 2220 and be a $40 to $50 million project.
ODOT is spending at least $500 million in Summit County over the next five years.
INTERSTATE 76 WIDENING
Another ongoing project is the $80 million widening project on Interstate 76 through Barberton. Widening is being done from just west of the Kenmore Leg to Route 21 and the pavement from Route 21 to the Medina County line is being replaced.
Currently phase one is ongoing with phase two anticipated to being in April 2017. Phase two calls for the westbound section of the road to be reconstructed as all traffic will be switched over to the eastbound lanes. This will allow for the pavement to be taken down to the dirt and then reconstructed. Traffic will then shift to the westbound section in 2018 so the same can be done to the eastbound section.
Two lanes of traffic will be maintained during the project, but there will be some ramp closures at Barber Road and the Route 21 interchange. Those closures will vary from two weeks to 120 days.
The entire project is expected to be done in the summer of 2019.