Green-lighting a New TIP
The Greater Akron area has a new four-year, multimillion-dollar Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The Policy Committee of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) greenlit the area’s newest four-year TIP of regional infrastructure improvements during its May 18 meeting.
Spanning Fiscal Years 2024 through 2027, the new $938.5 million TIP includes approximately $523.1 million for highway projects, more than $399.4 million for public transit needs, and $16 million for bike and pedestrian projects throughout Portage and Summit counties and a portion of northeastern Wayne County.
TIP Coordinator David Pulay notes that a significant portion of the program – $721.2 million or about 77 percent of the program – is devoted to maintenance-type projects for the Greater Akron area’s highway and public transportation systems rather than costly expansions of existing transportation networks.
“Capacity projects to add travel lanes on highways are among the most expensive to build. That’s why they only account for about 15 percent of this latest program. As an agency, we want our region’s available funding to be invested in communities based on need given today’s fiscal realities,” Pulay says.
While much of the highway portion of the program consists of resurfacings, among the larger projects scheduled in the TIP are a more than $132 million, six-lane widening of Interstate 77 in Bath and Richfield townships and a $10.7 million reconstruction project on Wooster Road West in Barberton.
Other notable improvements include a more than $19.1 million reconstruction of East Main Street (state Route 59) in Kent and a $2.9 million reconstruction of the intersection of state Routes 14 and 43 in Streetsboro. A nearly $41 million improvement project on state Route 21 in Chippewa Township is also in the program.
The area’s transit operators, METRO of Summit County and the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority, will receive $64 million and nearly $14 million respectively in federal funds for various capital projects over the next four years. These projects include vehicle replacements, facility maintenance, and bus stop improvements.
The region’s cyclists and hikers will find some good news in the new TIP. The Phase 4 construction of a portion of the Freedom Trail in Akron will receive $700,000 in federal Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TASA) Program funds. Another $700,000 TASA grant will be used to build a connection on the Stow Hike & Bike Trail linking the communities of Cuyahoga Falls, Silver Lake, and Stow. Additional TASA funds are also scheduled for engineering and construction for a portion of the Heartland Trail in Chippewa Township.
To view the TIP, please click here.