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Government & Politics

Akron Interchange Shut Downs Are Delayed

Central interchange, Akron
Beirne own work
Akron central interchange

The Ohio Department of Transportation temporarily backed away Wednesday from closing three main ramps of the central interchange of interstate highways and Route 8 in Akron. 

ODOT map, Akron
Credit ODOT
ODOT map of Akron area affected

The problem was signs -- or, rather, the lack of them. The multi-year project, for which the ramp work is an early step, will eventually cost a half a billion dollars and affect much of Summit County.

But, ODOT found that contractors didn’t have all of the required warning and detour signs in place in time for the shutdown last night.

Justin Chesnic is a spokesman for the department.

“This was strictly a safety issue. When you don’t have all of the appropriate signs up,  we could have had some motorists maybe not be able to follow the detour.  And, at ODOT, safety is our No. 1 priority.  So we wanted to make sure every sign is up.  Even if you’re missing one sign, that’s one too many.”

The ramp work in Akron is expected to be done by fall, with the first phase of the overall reconstruction and resurfacing being finished by the end of next summer.

Information on the progress of the project and on road closures and alternate routes, is available on the Ohio Department of Transportation website.