A new study says it will cost at least $3.78 billion — perhaps even closer to $5 billion — just to maintain the highway system and bridges in Greater Akron over the next 25 years.
The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) released the figure last week as part of its Highway Preservation Needs Report, which details the cost of resurfacing and replacing more than 3,422 lane miles of federal-aid roads and 947 bridges in the region through 2045.
The agency, a regional planning group serving Portage and Summit counties and a portion of Wayne County, updates the report every three or four years. It will help drive the agency's long-range regional plan called "Transportation Outlook 2045."
AMATS estimated the total resurfacing needs at $1.25 billion and replacement at $160 million. Meanwhile, bridge repairs are estimated at $2.37 billion.
Those figures are in 2019 dollars and the total could be closer to $5 billion when adjusted for inflation, AMATS Director Curtis Baker said.
The report doesn't identify specific road projects, but estimates that each road will need to be resurfaced twice over that time period.
It does, however, identify 41 bridges with a "poor" rating that will need attention. Baker noted that just because a bridge receives a poor rating doesn't mean that it's unsafe to drive on.
Here are the bridges cited:
• Mats Road at the Cuyahoga River in Mantua.
• Ravenna Road at the Norfolk & Southern railroad tracks in Franklin Township.
• Christman Road at Nimisila Reservoir in Green.
• Jones Road at Kale Creek in Palmyra Township.
• Eastern Road at Mill Creek in Chippewa Township.
• Old Forge Road at Breakneck Creek in Rootstown Township.
• Johnson Road at Fish Creek in Franklin Township.
• Ingleside Drive at Brandywine Creek in Hudson.
• Riverview Road at Furnace Run in Cuyahoga Falls.
• Benner Road at Nimisila Creek in New Franklin.
• Galehouse Road at Silver Creek in Chippewa Township.
• Main Street at the CSX & Conrail railroad tracks in Akron.
• North Main Street ramp at North Howard Street in Akron.
• West Main Street at the Cuyahoga River and CSXT railroad tracks in Kent.
• Hudson Drive at Powers Brook in Stow.
• GOJO pedestrian bridge in Akron.
• Granger Road at Yellow Creek in Bath.
• Ira Road at North Fork Yellow Creek in Bath.
• State Street at the Ohio & Erie Canal in Akron.
• Riverview Road at Yellow Creek in Akron/Cuyahoga Falls.
• Tallmadge Road at Barrel Run in Edinburg Township.
• Pressler Road at South Fork Tuscarawas River in Springfield Township.
• Minor Road at Wolf Creek in Copley.
• Wright Road at Pigeon Creek in Copley.
• Randolph Road at Potter Creek in Randolph Township.
• Newton Falls Road at Hinckley Creek in Charlestown Township.
• Pioneer Trail at the Chagrin River in Aurora.
• Silica Sand Road at Eagle Creek (two locations) in Nelson Township and Windham Township.
• Zigler Road at Wald Ditch in Milton Township.
• Yale Road at Kale Creek Stream in Palmyra Township.
• Coal Bank Road at Chippewa Creek in Chippewa Township.
• Bath Road at the Cuyahoga River in Akron.
• Sunrise Boulevard at Fish Creek in Kent.
• State Route 93 at the A&B railroad and CSX railroad tracks in Akron.
• Brandywine Road at Brandywine Creek in Northfield Center Township.
• Esworthy Road at Hinckley Creek in Charlestown Township.
• Stanley Road at Mahoning Creek in Windham Township.
• Whippoorwill Road at a Kale Creek tributary in Palmyra Township.
• Kent Street at the Little Cuyahoga River in Akron.
• The pedestrian bridge over state Route 8 south of Graham Road in Cuyahoga Falls.
The total cost $3.78 billion is 17 percent higher than the $3.3 billion estimated in the previous report in 2016. The higher cost is mostly due to increasing construction costs, the agency said.
Two bridges that were closed this year on an emergency basis are missing from the list: the Cleveland-Massillon Road bridge over Wolf Creek in Copley and the Kungle Road bridge between Vanderhoof and Eastern roads.
To read the full report, go to: http://amatsplanning.org/wp-content/uploads/Highway-Preservation-Needs-Report.pdf.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.