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Federal Grant Kickstarts the Transformation of Downtown Akron's Main Street

A photo of Akron's Main Street.

The federal transportation department has awarded the city of Akron $5 million to help transform Main Street into more than just a thoroughfare. 

Akron Chief of Staff James Hardy says the federal grant will pay for phase one of the transformation project scheduled to start in the fall of next year.

That will include making the street more walkable and bikeable, creating more green-space, and making it more attractive to people who might consider living downtown.

He says planning for the project has been underway for several years.

“How do we create a public space utilizing that infrastructure, that transportation hub there to benefit business, benefit pedestrians, benefit from a health perspective bicyclists and non-vehicle travelers, to improve transit, and also to improve traffic safety and environmental sustainability.”

Hardy says the entire project is estimated to cost $14.5 million and will include state and local funding as well as the federal grant.