New Plan, New TIP, New Future
The Greater Akron area has updated versions of two key elements for the region’s transportation planning process – Transportation Outlook 2040 and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The AMATS Policy Committee approved both items during its May 25 meeting.
Transportation Outlook 2040 is the long-range plan that identifies regional transportation needs and presents recommendations for highway, public transportation, bike and pedestrian projects that should be pursued over the next 23 years in the Greater Akron area. The new plan recommends over $5.6 billion in highway infrastructure investments, a total that includes over $4.3 billion for preservation of the existing system. The plan includes investment of over $2 billion in the region’s public transportation system and recommends $33 million in bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
“This is the first long-range plan that addresses emerging transportation technologies such as self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors.”
– AMATS Director Curtis Baker
Transportation Outlook 2040 represents a continuation of the agency’s emphasis on preserving the region’s existing transportation systems rather than costly expansions, but there is also a recognition of new realities within its pages, according to AMATS Director Curtis Baker.
“This is the first long-range plan that addresses emerging transportation technologies such as self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors,” Baker continues, “Our agency is committed to working with our partners at the local, state and federal levels to ensure that our region is ready for autonomous and connected vehicles as they are developed.”
Baker adds that Transportation Outlook 2040 also promotes smart regional land use strategies and development patterns, the integration of all transportation modes within the system, and the pursuit of increased mobility for all persons.
“There are some very exciting and much-needed projects starting in the next four years.”
– TIP Coordinator Dave Pulay
The TIP is the area’s four-year program of highway, public transportation, bike and pedestrian projects scheduled to receive federal funding from fiscal year 2018 through 2021. The program includes more than $686.5 million in highway and public transportation projects, including nearly $7 million for bike and pedestrian projects. TIP Coordinator Dave Pulay says that the program – like Transportation Outlook 2040 – emphasizes maintenance of the area’s existing system, but includes a number of notable improvements.
“There are some very exciting and much-needed projects starting in the next four years. The Cuyahoga River Valley Bridge on state Route 8 is scheduled to be replaced and – at more than $142 million – is by far one of the largest jobs in our new TIP. Other significant projects are modifications to the Central Interchange and new sidewalks in Montrose that will help the area become more pedestrian friendly,” Pulay says.
Among the projects to be funded under the new TIP are:
• A nearly $54 million pavement replacement project on state Route 8, from Graham Road to just north of state Route 303, in the cities of Hudson and Stow.
• The $20.1 million Main Street Corridor improvement project in Akron including the State Street Bridge Reconstruction.
• A nearly $10 million interchange improvement project at Tallmadge and Mogadore roads and Interstate 76 in Brimfield Township.
• A nearly $7.5 million project to upgrade signals with fiber optics throughout Streetsboro.