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Akron, Ohio

Main Street Corridor Project Underway

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Phase 1 of TIGER grant-funded renovation of Main Street begins in Downtown Akron

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary
Published: 07-17-2018

Akron, Ohio, July 17, 2018 Main Street in downtown Akron, otherwise known as King James Way, is preparing for a major makeover, with initial construction activities kicking off this month.  Based on the lowest and best bid, the City of Akron has selected the Design Build team of Kenmore Construction and Prime AE Group to lead the way for the Main Street Corridor Project, Phase 1. This two-phase project is made possible through two federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants.

Phase 1 is a $31 million effort to reconstruct all infrastructure from building face to building face along the South Main corridor width, between Cedar and Mill Streets, including: new pavement with a lane dedicated to parking/buses/delivery vehicles,  new sidewalks, a permanent bicycle track, upgraded underground utilities, upgraded traffic signal equipment, smart LED lighting, a roundabout at Main and Mill Streets, storm water management improvements, and a complete rebuild of the State Street bridge.  Also included in the scope are all the amenities needed to make this an attractive corridor including landscaping and public benches. 

Work on Phase 1 began July 9 and is expected to be completed in 2020. Initial work includes the installation of traffic signals, underground utility work, and temporary paving necessary to divert traffic during construction. Construction of the new permanent roadway is expected to begin in early September.

Throughout construction, the City will host various stakeholder engagement activities in collaboration with the Downtown Akron Partnership, to ensure sustained dialogue about the project and its impact on the downtown community.

“While construction on this scale is always an inconvenience, the end result will be a connected, dynamic, beautiful and modern Main Street designed to welcome and serve Akron’s businesses, citizens and visitors,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “Once completed, the revitalized Downtown Promenade will breathe new life into our urban core, attract new investment to our city, revitalize our public spaces, and better link the amenities on Main Street to adjacent downtown neighborhoods.” 

The City of Akron was awarded a second, $8 million TIGER grant in 2018 to help fund Phase 2 of the Main Street Corridor Project. Phase 2 will extend improvements to an additional segment of Main Street from Mill Street to Perkins Street/Route 59. It is the second phase of a 1.4-mile green corridor through the heart of the city. The stretch is designed to connect people to centers of education, employment, innovation, entrepreneurship, culture, entertainment and recreation.

The Main Street Corridor Project is designed to:

  • Provide “Ladders of Opportunity” by increasing access to education, jobs and opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Construct a welcoming gateway to those who live, work, play in Downtown Akron
  • Transform the corridor with a context-sensitive design that enhances accessibility among all modes of transportation while increasing safety, productivity and public health
  • Serve as a fulcrum that leverages private reinvestment to adjacent vacant and blighted structures and promotes the high-density, mixed-use development of underutilized parcels
  • Steward ecological resources by increasing energy efficiency and incorporating green infrastructure
  • Promote infill storefront redevelopment for local independent niche/boutique retailers by activating the streetscape and generating additional foot traffic in Downtown Akron
  • Boost the efficiency of existing transportation investments by building on momentum resulting from recent adjacent infrastructure investments
  • Produce a model for regional collaboration and strategic investment through synergetic public-private partnerships.

The City will host a public stakeholder meeting this evening (July 17th) in Cascade Plaza downtown from 4 PM to 6 PM. Representatives will provide a brief overview of the project, introduce the construction team and be available to answer stakeholder questions.

An official groundbreaking for the project is being planned for September. More details to follow. For up-to-date information about the project, please visit www.driveakron.com/main-street-corridor-updates.aspx .

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For further information, contact:
Heather Bolestridge
Main Street Corridor Project Communications Manager
Phone: (330) 375-2501
E-mail: [email protected]

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