The Ohio Department of Transportation will permanently close the Wolf Ledges Parkway ramp onto Interstate 76/77 in Akron starting Dec. 17.
The state agency and local leaders have been talking about shutting down the ramp for years, because motorists entering the highway must dodge vehicles exiting onto South Main Street.
“It’s a pretty dangerous weave condition,” ODOT spokesman Justin Chesnic said.
The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study has identified the ramp as a dangerous stretch of road. There have been at least 53 crashes there in the past three years, ODOT said.
“We’re completely supportive [of the change],” said Jason Segedy, AMATS director. “We think it’s a good strategy.”
ODOT will erect barriers at the top of the ramp and put concrete barriers on the ramp to prevent motorists from using it.
Next summer, a contractor will build a curb and sidewalk along Wolf Ledges so it will look as if the ramp never existed, Chesnic said.
About 3,800 vehicles use the ramp daily.
Once the ramp is closed, motorists wanting to get onto the highway will be directed to Thornton Street and then South Main, where they can get on I-76/77.
The Wolf Ledges ramp is now heavily used by people traveling from the University of Akron, which is just to the north.
ODOT chose Dec. 17, because the city requested that the ramp remain open through the UA winter commencement, Chesnic said.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com.