With shovels in hand, state and local officials on June 27 marked the beginning of construction on the $6.9 million State Route 43 widening project in Brimfield Township. The project, which will widen the roadway to two lanes in each direction, extends from County Road 18 (Tallmadge Ave.) through Brimfield Township to Meloy Rd. just south of the city of Kent.
ODOT District Deputy Director Mohamed Darwish joined Portage County Engineer Mickey Marozzi, Mayor of Kent John Fender, Brimfield Township Trustee Mike Kostensky and Portage County Commissioner Chuck Keiper in commemorating the construction kick-off. “Zone Cone” and “Beware Barrel” were also on hand to turn the first shovel of dirt on the project.
Darwish spoke of the economic significance of the project to the community and asked motorists to be patient during construction. He also spoke of the cooperation, coordination and communication between all entities involved making this project possible.
“The level of cooperation between the county, the city of Kent, Brimfield Township, AMATS and ODOT not only helped to get this much- talked about project off the ground, but also helped keep it moving to where we are today,” said Darwish.
Keiper underscored the project’s importance by noting that Portage County committed $500,000 for the project although the county is not legally responsible for State Route 43.
Marozzi praised the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) for its commitment of $700,000 to the project’s preliminary engineering phase to initiate the project back in 1991. AMATS also contributed $2 million for the project’s right-of-way acquisition phase.
During construction, traffic on SR-43 will be placed in a bi-lateral pattern, maintaining one lane in each direction. Work will begin on the north end of the project limits and move south. The project, managed by Craig Dunbar, is expected to be completed by late fall of 2006. CEG