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Akron breaks ground on $31 million Main Street Corridor, announces new water feature

September 12, 2018

Akron breaks ground on $31 million Main Street Corridor, announces new water feature

AKRON, Ohio - A water feature has been designed into plans for Akron’s $31 million downtown Main Street Corridor project.

Mayor Dan Horrigan announced plans for the water feature during the project’s official groundbreaking on Wednesday. No details were available except that the water feature will be built at the roundabout planned for Main and Mill streets.

Akronites have navigated the orange barrels on South Main Street since July, when Phase 1 of the project began. Over the next two years, 1.4 miles through the heart of Akron - Ohio 59/Perkins Street south to Exchange Street - will undergo major improvements.

“It’s a monumental project that will completely transform the downtown corridor,” Horrigan said. “We’re not only investing on our jobs hub, we’re investing in a blossoming neighborhood and public spaces for all.”

The project will include a green corridor and green infrastructure along Main Street, and street and sidewalk improvements, including mid-block pedestrian crossings, new on-street parking and dedicated bike lanes. It also includes  storm water management improvements, transit and traffic enhancements, new LED lighting and new signage.

The project is a collaboration between the city and Summit County, the private sector and state and federal government.

Much of the funding for the work came from two federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants: $5 million in 2016 and $8 million in 2018. An additional $7.5 million in Federal Bridge funds was awarded in 2017 to enable the city to replace the State Street Bridge, which runs between Water Street and Main Street.

Rep. Tim Tyan said the Main Street Corridor will contribute to Akron’s ability to attract and retain business and talent.

“It’s all about the future of the city of Akron,” Ryan said. “You cannot discount quality of life and sense of place. And not just about how things look, but how they feel.”

Ryan has been working to draw investment to the area, bringing groups of professionals from Silicon Valley to tour Akron and Youngstown.

In addition to the work in Akron’s downtown, ODOT has scheduled projects on roadways around the city that complement the Main Street work totaling nearly $500 million, said District 4 Assistant Deputy Director John Picuri.

Among those projects, ODOT is widening I-76 and replacing pavement from the Akron city limits to the county line, reconfiguring the central interchange and improving the Kenmore leg of I-76, he said.

“These aren’t short term hit-or-miss projects that are only going to last for a few years,” Picuri said. The projects are well thought-out to last for generations, he said.

Below the surface of the road, long-term utility improvements will also be taking place.

According to Ohio Edison Regional President Rich Sweeney, the company will invest nearly $15 million to rebuild the entire downtown electric network, adding regional flexibility and real-time monitoring capabilities.

For information about the Main Street Corridor project, visit the city’s DriveAkron website, call 330-375-2501 or send an email.

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