Completion of Phases I and II of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s ambitious S.R. 8 projects will allow traffic to move safely and with less interruption between Akron and Cleveland in northern Summit County. ODOT hopes to eliminate the “missing link” moniker attached to this area.
Phases I and II are in addition to another eight S.R. 8 ODOT projects either completed recently, under way, or expected to begin in the near future.
A total of 10 new bridges will be constructed and improvements will be made to existing bridges and ramps. New two-lane ramps to and from I-271 also will be constructed.
Phase I includes S.R. 8 and I-271 in Boston Heights, Hudson, Macedonia, and Northfield Center Township.
Beaver Excavating of Canton, Ohio, was awarded the contract to complete the “missing link” between Akron and Cleveland in November 2006. The contract included $91.3 million for the construction work, and $109.7 million for right of way purchases and engineering costs.
Phase I “substructure work began on the Brandywine Creek bridge, shoulder reinforcements along the I-271 ramps, and clearing the right-of-way along S.R. 8 in February 2007,” according to an ODOT press release.
According to Justin Chesnic, district 4 public information specialist with ODOT, work began when 750,000 cu. yds. (573,400 cu m) of dirt was trucked in to create a base for the new 5,000 ft. (1,520 m) long and 25 ft. (7.6 m) high flyover ramp connecting I-271 and S.R. 8. Wick drains were installed to help the dirt settle, a process that took approximately nine months, before the contractor was given the green light to proceed with the major flyover ramp.
The project’s goal is “to eliminate traffic signals and to allow traffic to move safely and with less interruption along S.R. 8, providing the final section to connect Akron and Cleveland,” said Chesnic.
Included in the scope of work is the construction of a new I-271 northbound on-ramp, which will allow vehicles traveling north on S.R. 8 to connect directly with I-271. Traffic traveling south on I-271 also will be allowed to exit to the left and gain access directly to S.R. 8, for the first time. When the new ramp is opened, the old S.R. 8 ramp to I-271 will be abandoned.
Also included is the construction of five new bridges, re-decking six other bridges, and new ramps from S.R. 8 to I-271, which are designed to provide the uninterrupted flow required by ODOT. It is estimated that 2.5 million lbs. (1.1 million kg) of reinforcing steel and 8 million lbs. (3.6 million kg) of new structural steel will be utilized on this project. A total of 16 high mast lighting towers and approximately 120 light poles have or will be added. Nearly 80,000 sq. ft. (7,400 sq m) of noise walls also will be constructed along sections of both northbound and southbound I-271.
Improvements to the S.R. 8/Highland Road access intersection were made in early 2007 to include widening, new signals and pavement resurfacing. Twinsburg Road was closed from spring 2007 until fall 2008 to allow work to eliminate the at-grade intersection. Now, S.R. 8 rises approximately 25 ft. (7.6 m) over Twinsburg Road.
“Construction of the entire SR 8 Phase I project was expected to take three years to complete . However, with innovation by ODOT/District 4 and Beaver Excavating Company, all lanes will open to the public a year in advance [mid-August 2009],” according to an ODOT press release. Specifics were not given.
The $81 million Phase II will occur in northern Summit County, beginning just south of Twinsburg Road to S.R. 303, eliminating the at-grade intersections at Hines Hill and Boston Mills roads. Included will be the re-establishment of access to local roads utilizing several ramps, with a new frontage road to be connected with S.R. 8.
Kenmore Construction of Akron was awarded the contract for Phase II. Work began in winter 2008 and is expected to be completed by fall 2011. Improvements will include those to be done at the I-80 Ohio Turnpike.
Work began on the $68.4 million I-80 portion of the project in early April and will be completed by June 2011.
To keep access to S.R. 8 during construction, a temporary run-around at Boston Mills Road will be constructed, with an extension of Chittenden Road. At-grade crossings will be eliminated at Hines Hill and Boston Mills roads.
Of the eight S.R. 8 corridor projects in addition to Phase I and II, two have been completed. They are:
• S.R. 8 sign replacement in Akron and Cuyahoga Falls. M.P. Dory Company of Columbus completed the $250,000 project in summer 2008.
• S.R. 8 bridge repairs over North Street. Perk Company of Cleveland completed the $3.3 million project in fall 2008.
Those under way or proposed to begin in the near future are:
• S.R. 8 Steel Corners Improvements. Shelly and Sands of Zanesville is expected to complete the $5.7 million project in fall 2009.
• S.R. 82 widening and railroad bridge construction. Kenmore Construction Company of Akron is expected to complete the $14 million project in fall 2009.
• S.R. 8 Diamond Grinding. Karvo Paving Company of Cuyahoga Falls should complete the $4.3 million project in summer 2009.
• S.R. 8 resurfacing Cuyahoga Falls/Stow. Contractor is Shelly and Sands of Zanesville. The $6 million project began in April and should be completed by fall 2009.
• S.R. 8 New interchange at Season’s Road. Independence Excavating of Independence. $6.5 million project is scheduled to begin in May. Season’s Road will be closed for 120 days. Anticipated completion date is June 2010.
• S.R. 8 Resurfacing Macedonia/Northfield. Karvo Paving Company of Cuyahoga Falls. $900,000 project scheduled to begin in early May and to be completed by summer 2009.
For more information, visit www.stateroute8.info.