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Akron's $42.5 Million Main Street Corridor Project Officially Gets Underway

Akron city leaders held an official groundbreaking today for the four-year, $42.5 million project to transform Main Street.

The project is focused on improving the main corridor through downtown, which the city hopes will help toward its goal of attracting 50,000 new residents by 2050.

Heather Bolestridge is Akron’s spokeswoman for the project. She says Main Street’s underground utilities will receive major upgrades for the first time in decades. And above-ground, residents will see major improvements.

“New sidewalks. New pavement with a lane dedicated to parking, buses and delivery vehicles. We’ll have a permanent bicycle track. We’ll have upgraded traffic signal equipment. We’ll have smart LED lighting. And we’ll be adding a roundabout at Main Street and Mill Street.”

That area – at the corner just south of the Akron-Summit County Public Library -- is already under construction.  About a third of the funding comes from two federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants.  Updates on the project -- as well as detours and road closures -- is at DriveAkron.com.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.