An early first step for a huge project in Streetsboro was taken on Oct. 11 during their regular council meeting.
The approval to apply for AMATS funding for a SR 303 corridor and SR 303 and SR 14 intersection improvements was unanimous.
The applications had been submitted back in July, and only now had room on the agenda for final council approval before they await results that are anticipated to come in November.
Each project is part of a larger vision of changes the city hopes to see overtime. “Our whole idea is to improve all the roads leading into the center of the city so that way people can walk and drive safely,” council president Jon Hannan said.
In the event that the city receives the AMATS funding, it will take years for the projects to reach completion.
The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, is an organization that helps provide grant funding to cities in the area to help fund large projects. The application filed by Streetsboro was the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program, which city engineer Justin Czekaj says he is hopeful the projects will meet the requirements to earn the funding.
“The project is focused on improving traffic capacity and reducing emissions,” Czekaj said.
The first project will be improvements made to the State Route 303, State Route 14 and Ranch Road intersection.
From 2017 to 2019, in a study done by the city, they found 23 accidents occurred at this intersection, many of which were sideswipes likely caused by the slip lane where traffic from SR 303 enters SR 14.
The project would close the slip lane and bring all traffic to a 3-way signalized intersection in hopes to improve flow of traffic and safety.
Proper curbs, push buttons and pedestrian signal heads will also be included in construction in order to improve pedestrian travel.
In total, the current engineer’s estimate for the project would total out to $645,433 and would be set to complete construction in 2027. Upon receiving AMATS funding, the city would be responsible for $185,916, although they hope to reduce costs through other funding requests.
“In conjunction with that project[AMATS], they’d be applying to some of those funds,” Hannan said.
The second and larger part of the project would be improvements to the SR 303 corridor.
This project has three parts. First, creating a three land cross-section, including a center two-way left-turn lane along SR 303 between SR 14 and Page Rd.
Second, the existing sidewalks at Mt. Vernon Dr. and Superior Ave. intersection would be extended down to the Page Rd. intersection.
Third, the pavement would be resurfaced to include proper drainage and curbs on SR 303 from the Ranch Rd. intersection to the Page Rd. intersection.
The road currently has one lane of traffic that causes congestion and numerous rear-ending accidents to occur.
“You have a lot of driveway access for the residents and businesses,” Czejak said. The backed up traffic creates frustration for residents trying to pull out of their driveways and for business owners whose customers have a difficult time getting in and out of their business.
The stop and go of traffic in the single lane is also an unnecessary source of emissions that could be reduced with a turning lane that doesn’t disrupt the flow of traffic when people need to turn.
The extension of sidewalks would largely benefit the City of Streetsboro Elementary and Middle School campus and create a safer walking environment for students.
“When younger kids, eighth grade and below, are walking down 303, they won’t be on the road,” Hannan said.
In total, the engineer’s estimate for this project is $4,916,525 and would be completed in 2029. With AMATS, Streetsboro would be responsible for $1,416,193 and they would work to reduce the total through other assistance just like the other project.
While the projects are still up in the air and heavily relying on AMATS approval, the city is hopeful and their residents’ safety is first priority.