AKRON, Ohio — Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated story on April 18, 2021.
Big changes are coming to some of Akron's major roadways as construction brings “substantial improvements around the Akron Beltway."
The project will include pavement replacement and lane additions on I-77 between Waterloo Road and Lovers Lane. Drivers can also expect pavement replacement on I-76/I-77 from Princeton Avenue to the I-77/Route 261 interchange along with I-76, I-77 and Route 8 at the Central Interchange.
“The project also includes resurfacing of state Route 8 and the addition of a southbound lane on state Route 8 between Carroll Street and Beacon Street, and the realignment of left-hand turn ramps (I-76 westbound to I-77 southbound and I-76 eastbound to state Route 8 northbound) to improve turn radius,” ODOT officials said.
So how will all of this impact your commute? Here is a timeline from ODOT on what drivers can expect from this construction project now through late fall...
During this first phase of construction, work will focus on two areas, the first will be the pavement replacement in the area of I-76/I-77 near the Kenmore Leg between East Avenue and Vernon Odom Boulevard.
Ramp closures were originally slated to begin at 10 p.m. June 3, but that work was delayed due to inclement weather. The following closures will be in effect from 10 p.m. Friday, June 4 through mid August:
- I-77 south to I-76/Kenmore Leg. The detour will be I-76 eastbound to I-77 southbound to I-277 westbound to I-76 westbound. (Alternate Route: I-77 southbound to SR-21 southbound to I-76).
- V. Odom Blvd. to I-77 southbound. The detour will be Romig Road to State Street to I-76/U.S. 224 eastbound to I-277 to I-77.
- I-76/U.S. 224 eastbound ramp to I-76/Kenmore Leg. The detour will be I-277 eastbound to I-77 northbound to I-76.
- I-277 westbound to I-76/Kenmore Leg. The detour will be I-77 northbound to I-76. (Alternate route I-76 westbound to State Route 21 northbound to I-77).
- Kenmore Blvd. to I-76/Kenmore Leg. The detour will be Wooster Road to State Street to I-76.
- I-77 southbound between V. Odom Blvd. and East Blvd. will be reduced to two lanes.
The following lane restrictions and ramp closures will be in effect from 10 p.m. Sunday, June 6 through mid August:
- The I-76/I-77 westbound ramp to I-76/Kenmore Leg. The detour will be I-77 southbound to I-277 westbound to I-76 westbound.
- 22nd St. to I-76/Kenmore Leg. The detour will be 22nd St. to Kenmore Blvd. to East Ave. to I-76 West.
- I-77 northbound between V. Odom Blvd. and East Ave. will be reduced to two lanes.
Starting in the evening hours on Tuesday, June 8 through mid August:
- State Route 8 between Carroll St. and LaFollette St. will have various lane restrictions.
The second section of work will occur on Route 8 and I-77 from Lafollette St. to Carol St. At this location, SR 8 traffic will be shifted to the outside while the median on SR 8 is under construction at the Central Interchange. The foundations for the new flyover ramp bridges at the Central Interchange will begin construction during this time.
During this phase, I-77 southbound from Cole Ave. to I-277/U.S. 224 will also be temporarily re-striped to four lanes to help with traffic flow during detours.
During the summer, work will continue in the same areas. The I-76/I-77 through movement across the interchange at the top of the Kenmore Leg will be closed through early November.
The following ramps will be closed through late fall 2022:
- SR 8 southbound ramp to I-76 westbound. The detour will be I-77 south to I-277 westbound to I-76 Kenmore Leg.
- I-77 northbound ramp to I-76 westbound. The detour will be I-277 westbound to I-76/Kenmore Leg.
During this phase, SR 8 northbound will be shifted to the outside between the Central Interchange and Carrol Street. Southbound traffic will be placed in a contraflow traffic pattern and will have one lane of southbound traffic shifted onto SR 8 northbound and two lanes will remain on the southbound side while the southbound outside pavement is widened and replaced.
The SR 8 southbound on ramp from Carroll Street will be closed for 60 days.
Construction will begin on I-76 westbound between Princeton St. and East Avenue.
- I-76 westbound traffic will be reduced to two lanes.
- The ramp from State Route 8 southbound to I-76 westbound and ramp from I-77 northbound to I-76 westbound will remain closed through the fall 2022.
- The I-76 westbound exit to East Avenue will be closed through fall 2022. Detour will be to exit at V. Odom and follow V. Odom to East Avenue.
- The State Route 59 ramp to I-76 westbound will be closed through fall 2022. Detour will be SR 261 to I-77.