$51M Akron Central Interchange project draws interest, ire

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - A project 20 years in the making will eventually make its way to Akron.

"I'm on Coventry Street, just a little south of Kipling. It really won't affect me, but I want to see what's going on around the neighborhood," said resident Terry Shearer, who's home is right in the middle of the $51 million construction project.

Delores Henderson's home is near the proposed building site.

The project includes building walls around the freeway for noise reduction.

But Henderson says there are beautiful trees there now.

"They are going to put a wall and we are being blocked off," she said.

The project is the Akron Central Interchange, which will affect anyone who drives through it on a daily basis.

More than 100,000 drivers use it.

Justin Chesnic from ODOT says they have been researching this area for over a decade and came up with several reasons to proceed, one being traffic flow.

"When traffic slows down what happens everything gets congested, then you have those fender benders and crashes. The goal is to reduce that," he said.

Chesnic says they are removing and adding ramps to help with speed control.

The off-ramps are now 20 mph, and after the project, the speed will increase to 40 mph.

Residents like Trevel Cody are OK with the improvements, but he's worried for his mother.

"I come with my mother and her thing was she didn't know if they were taking the house or keeping the house," he said.

She'll get to keep her house because the project was designed around them.

"It really doesn't affect me too much right now I'd like to see something start a little bit sooner," said Cody as the project is three years out from breaking ground.

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