COVENTRY TWP.: It’s orange barrel season.
The Ohio Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it will undertake $2.3 billion worth of road and bridge projects statewide this year, including about $220 million in Summit, Medina, Portage, Stark and Wayne counties.
The 996 new projects statewide include resurfacing, culvert replacement, bridge repairs and safety improvements.
ODOT District 4, which covers Summit, Stark and Portage counties, announced local projects at a news conference at Acme Fresh Market on state Route 93 (Manchester Road), where workers were busy outside widening the road to five lanes.
The $7.9 million project — which extends from Robinson Avenue to Cormany Road — is expected to be completed by August 2014.
In the meantime, it’s a major inconvenience for motorists.
“It really annoys me because I’m used to Manchester being open,” said Jack Howell, 87, of Akron who was shopping with wife Bea, 86, at the Acme. “Getting down to one lane is a headache.”
But he’s also maintaining his sense of humor about the work.
“I’ll just put up with it and rant and rave,” he said.
District 4 Director Anthony Urankar said the state agency is trying to minimize the inconveniences, especially for businesses in construction zones.
He noted that ODOT hands out brochures alerting businesses so they can plan for road work and discuss it with customers.
The costliest project in the Akron area — and one of the costliest statewide this year — involves replacing the pavement and repairing nine bridges on a four-mile stretch along Interstate 271 between Broadview Road and the Ohio Turnpike.
That $49.8 million effort is expected to begin next month and not be completed until at least November 2015.
As part of the project, the I-271 northbound ramp to Interstate 77 northbound will be closed for 90 days.
The construction will cause a hassle for the 31,000 to 36,000 vehicles that use that stretch each day. I-271 is a major bypass along the east side of Cleveland that travels from Interstate 71 on its southern tip to Interstate 90 at the north end.
ODOT has pledged to maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction, but one direction will be split across the median, and motorists will encounter concrete barriers.
It’s unclear whether the northbound or southbound lanes will be done first.
The I-271 work is one of six new “mega projects” that will begin this year statewide, ODOT said.
Others include work on Interstate 270 in Franklin County ($71.1 million), construction of the eastbound Cleveland Innerbelt Bridge in Cuyahoga County ($330 million), and rebuilding a section of Interstate 75 and three interchanges in Allen County ($70.2 million).
ODOT also will continue widening Interstate 71 from two to three lanes in Morrow and Delaware counties.
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:
• Highland Road in Macedonia: An ongoing $10.5 million project to build a bridge over the Norfolk-Southern railroad tracks between South Bedford Road and Shepard Road. The project is expected to be completed in August.
• State Road in Cuyahoga Falls: A $9.2 million project to widen the road from Bath Road to Steels Corners Road. The work includes adding turn lanes and drainage, and improving signals. The project, slated to begin next month, is expected to be done in fall 2014.
• State Route 619 in New Franklin: A $2 million project to widen the road to include left turn lanes and signal upgrades. The work is set to begin next month and be completed in November.
• State Route 619 in Green: A $1.5 million project to resurface the road from the New Franklin line to the Stark County line. A bridge over the Tuscarawas River also will be replaced. The work will begin either this spring or summer, and be completed in October.
• State Route 303 in Hudson: An ongoing $1.5 million project to resurface the road through the city, make minor bridge repairs, and replace the state Route 8 northbound exit ramp to Route 303. The work is slated to be done by September.
• Interstate 76 in Norton: A $3.7 million project to replace the Clark Mill Road and Summit Road bridges over the highway. The major work is expected to begin next year and be completed by November 2014.
• Interstates 76 and 77 in Akron: A $1.4 million project to resurface the Central Interchange, and I-77 from the Kenmore leg to state Route 162. The work will begin this spring or summer, and be completed by August.
• State Route 59 (Akron Innerbelt) in Akron: A $7.3 million project to resurface the road from I-76 to East Market Street. The work may begin this fall and be completed by August 2014.
• State Route 82 in Northfield Center Township: A $2.7 million project to place a concrete overlay and seal the bridge over the Cuyahoga River. The work will begin over the summer and be done by November.
• State Route 162 in Copley Township and Akron: A $2.3 million project to resurface the road from the Medina County line to I-77. The work will begin over the summer and be completed by this fall.
• Interstate 76 in Wadsworth and Wadsworth Township: An ongoing $17.7 million project to rehab the highway from state Route 57 to the Summit County line. The project is expected to be done by July 2014.
• Interstate 71 in Medina Township and Brunswick: An ongoing $1.3 million project to replace noise walls around the state Route 18 interchange and north of state Route 303. The work is slated to be done in August.
• Interstate 77 in Bethlehem, Pike and Canton townships: A $14.3 million project to resurface the highway from the Tuscarawas County line to the Canton city line.
The work, which began this week, also includes bridge repairs. The project is expected to be completed by June 2015.
• State Route 21 in Navarre and Bethlehem Township: An ongoing $4.1 million project to resurface the highway from the Tuscarawas County line to U.S. Route 62. The work — which includes closing Route 21 — is expected to be completed by October.
• State Route 241 in Jackson Township: A $1.2 million project to resurface the road from the Massillon city limit to Shady Hollow Road, and from state Route 687 to the Summit County line.
The work, which likely will begin next year, includes adding a northbound left turn lane at Oakdale Street Northwest.
• State Routes 14, 183 and 225 in Edinburg, Atwater and Deerfield townships: A $3.1 million project to resurface the roads and do bridge repairs. The work is slated to begin this summer and be completed by November.
• U.S. Route 224 in Deerfield Township: A $3.8 million project to resurface the road from the state Route 14/Route 225 intersection to the Mahoning County line. The work is expected to begin in August and be completed by November.
• U.S. Route 224 in Suffield, Randolph and Atwater townships: A $5.8 million project to resurface the road from the Summit County line to state Route 183. The work, slated to begin next month, will include bridge repairs and adding left turn lanes at the intersections with state Routes 43 and 44.
• Crain Avenue in Kent: An ongoing $17.3 million project to improve the intersection of Crain and Route 43; Route 43 and Fairchild Avenue; and Crain and North Water Street and Lake Street. The work is scheduled to be completed this fall.
• State Route 3 in Wooster: An ongoing $2.2 million project to repair the bridge over U.S. Route 30. The work should be completed by September.
• State Route 3 in Creston, Seville Township and Westfield Township: A $1.9 million project to resurface the road from Sterling Road to just south of I-76 in Medina County. The work is set to begin next month and be completed in September.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.