You don’t have to drive far to find the orange barrels lined up along the roads in downtown Akron.
There’s no doubt that construction season is in full swing, with projects popping up across Northeast Ohio. In the city of Akron, there are more than two dozen projects that have already begun or are planned for later this year.
While the construction projects will likely add some time to daily commutes for drivers, there are reasons behind some of the bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Take for instance the closure of the Main, Howard and Perkins streets intersection. City officials consider the area one of the most dangerous intersections in Summit County.
This year’s construction plan includes making the area safer, along with removing the underused Innerbelt (SR 59) and working on the city’s combined sewer overflow (CSO) project. The removal of SR 59 is expected to make way for additional green space in the downtown area.
On the city’s east side, you’ll find more sewer work as with many of this year’s street-level projects. The closure at the intersection of South Arlington and Exchange is expected to last about a month.
And while some drivers have expressed frustration over the orange barrels, there are many who recognize its potential impact on the city’s infrastructure.
“It’s definitely need,” said Nathan Parker who works in the city. “The infrastructure is a bit behind in Akron and I’m glad that there’s stuff moving.”
Much of the city’s construction projects are a result of the EPA mandated sewer project, according to city spokesperson Ellen Lander Nischt. The projects must be completed within a certain timeline, which can lead to multiple sewer projects taking place at the same time.
The city of Akron has launched the website DriveAkron.com to help breakdown the constructions projects that are currently taking place or are schedule to begin later this year. The website also includes a list of detour routes around planned closures and a description of each project.