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Unexpected funds could pave the way to safer streets in Akron

Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-23 09:37:23-04

AKRON, Ohio — Instead of looking down the road, drivers in Akron are looking down at it and checking for potholes. Unexpected money could soon pave the way to safer streets.

Just this week, the city of Akron put out a list of more than 150 roads getting a makeover.

The list is compiled based on results from a road survey that is conducted every three years by an outside company.

News 5 met with Jim Hall, Akron's interim manager of public works, on Frank Boulevard. It's a street filled with dips, uneven pavement and potholes on the list for being resurfaced.

He said Northeast Ohio is a breeding ground for potholes and Akron is no exception, with endless cycles of freezing and thawing.

“This is pretty much an annual thing," Hall said. “Plow the snow. Fix the potholes. Go out. Re-surface. Repeat.”

Across the city you will find streets crumbling from wear and tear, leaving pesky potholes surely able to irritate any driver.

“Over all, our roadway network is around a 60 out of 100. So, we are almost at the passing-failing line as far as that goes. It’s been somewhat of a steady decline due to the funding, but it looks like we are making some progress now getting things turned around," Hall said.

In 2017, voters passed a .25 percent income tax hike. Now that the cash is finally rolling in, city leaders are pumping that money into the repair budget.

Hall said the 2017 budget was $2.5 million. In 2018, it jumped to $7 million.

“We were doing 17 center line miles of resurfacing. Now we’re up to 54 center line miles of resurfacing," Hall said.

The cash stream will keep flowing, too. Hall said Akron will get a share of the additional gas tax revenues proposed by Governor Mike DeWine, but it is unclear how much.

If there is a pothole you want to report, you can dial 3-1-1 from a cell phone.

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