Summit County Council on Monday approved allocation of engineering costs related to the Canton Road Improvement Project in Springfield Township.

Canton Road is Summit’s responsibility from the southern limit of the county until it reaches U.S. 224, with the exception of a small stretch through the village of Lakemore. At U.S. 224, Canton Road turns into state Route 91

The county also is responsible for the southern section of the 224/91 intersection; the other three sections are owned by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

“The contract for the design of the road improvement is getting bigger because ODOT is joining the project with their portion of the roadway,” said Heidi Swindell of the county engineer’s office. “For Canton Road, there will be a mix of federal funds, state and county funds. The total cost of the project is $9 million, but the county’s portion of the overall project is $750,000.”

The legislation approved Monday is only for the allocation of money that will go for engineering costs that ODOT is paying for.

The project has been in the planning stages since 2008, and the county’s portion of funding already has been invested. Any additional fees will be billed to ODOT.

The major part of the project will be work at the intersection of U.S. 224 and state Route 91 — an intersection that engineers say consistently ranks near the top of the list of Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) crash sites. Engineering officials say the intersection has had an average of 85 accidents a year for the past 10 years, and many of those incidents are attributed to access and driveway issues.

ODOT joining the project will cut down construction time, officials said. Instead of two different projects and two different times to shut down the road to handle the county and state portions separately, construction for both portions will be done at the same time.

Other improvements include widening Canton Road to five lanes up to Springfield Lake Drive — four through lanes and some northbound and southbound turning lanes. There will be some resurfacing, a raised median from U.S. 224 to 300 feet south of the intersection with Arcadia Road/Meadows Drive, funding for sidewalks and the replacement of a small bridge.

In other action Monday, council voted to keep the number of members on each committee at five.

Councilwoman Gloria Rodgers wanted to increase the number to seven (it was changed from seven to five last year), saying more council members need to be involved on more committees. She cited a committee meeting that had to be postponed because three members couldn’t show up that night. Such a numbers problem would be less likely to happen if there were seven members per committee, she said.

Councilman John Schmidt, on the other hand, wanted to cut the number to three. He said that when too many members get involved, meetings can become unmanageable or become like a meeting of the entire council.

Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or mmiller@thebeaconjournal.com.