Cuyahoga Falls hit the federal grant lotto this week when it was awarded with $1.135 million in funds to help pay for the long-awaited
The grant, awarded by the Federal Highway Administration through its Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program, was just one of 83 handed out to cities across the country. Over 600 applied for this type of funding and the Falls was the only city in Ohio to receive the sought after government money, reports the Akron Beacon Journal.
To pay for the $9.1 million project, the city received $6 million in Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) grants, allocated $2 million of its own money and will use the new seven-figure sum to cover the remaining costs.
Starting this winter, construction crews will embark on the two-year project to by 10 feet from Graham to Quick Road.
The project will create two five-foot bike lanes on State, sidewalks on each side of the road, four new right-turn lanes and extended turn lanes, said Tony Demasi.
Right turn lanes will be installed at:
- Bath Road heading northbound on State Road
- Steels Corners Road heading northbound on State Road
- State Road heading westbound on Steels Corners Road
- State Road heading eastbound on Steels Corners Road
In addition, the timing of traffic lights will be synced to better circulate the flow of traffic.
Since 2006, Demasi has been working closely with URS Corporation consultants and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to determine how best to alleviate heavy traffic congestion along the corridor.
He also has spent the last several months striking deals with property owners that will be affected by the widening. 82 settled with the city; land from the remaining nine owners will be acquired through eminent domain hearings, which are already underway in Summit County Probate Court.
ODOT will potentially find a contractor for the job by October and will manage all of the construction.
Demasi predicts the project will be complete by the end of 2014 and said northbound and southbound traffic will remain open along State Road during construction.
Once complete, the widening will be key to Portage Crossing as the flow of traffic is expected to increase in conjunction with the much anticipated development.