SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio — Anyone who drives along Route 8 knows how quickly traffic can come to a halt, especially when there's construction. Now crews are building an entirely new driving surface on the roadway.
Route 8 north of the central interchange in Akron is a vital artery for daily commuters, carrying nearly 60,000 vehicles every day, which is one of the reasons the road is in need of major repairs.
“Over the years, the road has started to break down. It’s been there between 50 to 60 years, and it’s past it’s useful life," said Justin Chesnic, the District Four Public Information Officer for ODOT.
But for the last year, the three lanes in each direction have been restricted to two from Graham Road to Route 303.
“It’s a complete pavement replacement," Chesnic said.
Construction crews have already replaced the median and center lanes and are now restoring the pavement in the northbound lanes.
“Basically what the project entails is just ripping the pavement out, then actually taking some of the dirt out underneath. Putting new material down underneath the road and then rebuilding the roadway back up.”
Next year, crews will focus on the southbound lanes.
The project includes bridge repairs for two bridge decks along the stretch of road.
“We’ll come back in the spring of 2022 and we’ll place that final layer of asphalt. We call that the surface course. It’s about an inch and a half of asphalt. We’ll put that down for a nice smooth ride for the motorist," said Chesnic.
When the project is done, Route 8 will return to its original configuration with three lanes in each direction.