Akron City Council has given initial approval of eight public works projects scheduled for the coming year, including a roundabout in Ellet, replacing brick on Mull Avenue and easing highway access for tractor-trailers at a new facility on the old Rolling Acres Mall site.
The projects were presented in two pieces of legislation Monday. Each passed out of committee and will receive a final vote next Monday.
The first ordinance dealt solely with the reconfiguration of the interchange at Interstate 77 and Vernon Odom Boulevard. “This is in anticipation of the secret project at Rolling Acres — that the whole world knows about,” Public Service Director John Moore told council.
The new, $100 million facility on Romig Road, which leaked blueprints describe as an Amazon fulfillment center, is expected to employ 1,000 workers and park 303 semi-trucks.
The e-commerce shipping hub would connect to Interstate 76 West and US 224 to the south along Romig Road. I-76 East and I-77 North are north via Vernon Odom Boulevard.
On-ramps in either direction are being retooled to ease the influx of heavy-duty truck traffic. Stop lights on Romig Road and Vernon Odom Boulevard would be synced to streamline travel.
The reconfiguration of I-77/Vernon Odom Boulevard is priced at $1,325,875. The developer of the Amazon facility has agreed to pay it all. The city of Akron would chip in $8,500 to acquire land as sidewalks are bumped back and lanes added to facilitate wider turns.
Heading away from Romig Road along Vernon Odom Boulevard, eastbound traffic would have two left-turning lanes instead of one to access the southbound I-76/I-77 on-ramp. To help tractor-trailers reach the northbound on and off ramps of I-76 and I-77, intersections along Frederick Boulevard would be widened.
The road work is scheduled from July to September this year.
The other seven street, bridge, sewer and water projects are listed in a $17.7 million public works omnibus bill. They’re all set to begin in July 2020 or later if the city can close a nearly $9 million funding gap with a state grant.
A $4.5 million roundabout is planned at Canton Road and East Market Street in Ellet. The project was first floated in 2017 when the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study ranked the intersection the 87th worst for crashes in Summit County.
Fourth Street from Kenmore Boulevard to Maryland Avenue in Kenmore would be repaved for $1 million. Mull Avenue from the roundabout at South Hawkins to Schneider Park Drive would be leveled and re-bricked for $2.4 million.
The 30-year-old Shoreline Pump Station keeping the land around Nesmith Lake dry in Kenmore would get a $656,265 makeover to support the Greens at Nesmith Lake, a proposed housing development.
The Stuber Street Bridge in Cascade Valley would be replaced for $1.8 million. Another $5.6 million would reconstruct 20-inch sewer lines throughout the city. Water main replacements would get $1.7 million of the broader $17.7 million public works package.
The city would spend $1.5 million in local funds — half from assessments on private property owners and the rest borrowed — on the seven projects. Another $7.4 million has been secured from state and federal programs. City administrators will ask the Ohio Public Works Commission to supply the remaining $8.8 million.
Reach Doug Livingston at email@example.com or 330-996-3792.