Future plans to address Frost Road congestion

by Bob Gaetjens | Editor Published:

Traffic congestion near the Frost Road bridge is a problem and it may become worse when Philipp Parkway connects to Ethan Drive and Route 43, some residents say. But a solution is in the works, officials say.

Don Frankman, who lives off Frost Road, said traffic is not good now and could get worse after Philipp Parkway is extended likely this fall.

Frost Road is a nightmare at certain times of the day," he said. "Bringing all those trucks down there will make it worse than a nightmare."

In a comment on The Streetsboro Gateway News Facebook page, Matt Bross, who also lives off Frost Road, said the traffic can be "quite heavy" in the morning and afternoon rush hours, particularly during the school year.

Connecting Philipp Parkway to Route 43 will enable truckers coming from businesses along Route 43 to cut along the planned industrial road to I-480 rather than driving through the center of town.

And once Philipp Parkway connects to Route 43, Mayor Glenn Broska acknowledged there would be additional traffic at the intersection of that road and Frost Road.

In fact, the mayor said he agrees with residents there's too much traffic there now.

But a solution, while not strictly a part of the Philipp Parkway extension project, is in the works, said Joe Ciuni of GPD Group, who serves as the city's engineer.

He said Frost Road's capacity will be increased when a lane is added to the Frost Road bridge.

"The problem is, the bridge is only two lanes wide; it needs to be wider," he said.

Ciuni also said a traffic light would be added to the intersection of Philipp Parkway and Frost Road as part of the bridge project.

Broska said the city administration tried to get the Frost Road bridge work and Philipp Parkway extension aligned, but it didn't quite work.

"They can still do excavating in the winter time, but they can't pour road in the winter time," he said. "Most of the paving companies open in the middle of April."

The Philipp Parkway extension project, which will cost the city about $300,000, will likely begin this fall and hopefully be able to open the road next May or June, he said.

Fall and winter work would include grading and installing of water, sewer, electric, gas and cable lines, he explained.

The Frost Road bridge and Route 43 intersection work will likely begin in fall 2015 and will take a full year to complete, said Broska.

"We tried to get the timing right in order to do these things, but there is going to be inconvenience," he said. The bridge work schedule has to align with the funding from the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, he said.

The bridge widening and traffic signal addition is part of Phase 1 of a complete reconfiguration of Frost Road from the bridge to Route 43.

Phase 1 will also include improvements to the intersection of Route 43 and Frost Road, said Broska. Those improvements will likely include widening the road to accommodate turn lanes, as well an upgrade to the traffic signal.

He said he believes there may be right, left and straight lanes added to the intersection.

Phase 1 would cost $5 million for the construction portion of the project, with the city paying about $1 million, according to Mo Darwish of GPD Group.

The second phase, slated for 2018 or 2019, would address the stretch of Frost Road between the bridge and intersection with Route 43, according to Broska.

"When you look at the total dollars invested in that area over the next few years, you're going to be close to $10 million," he said, but much of that would be grants and state money.

Darwish said right-of-way acquisition and construction of the second phase would cost $3.8 million with the city paying about $870,000. The balance of both phases would be paid by AMATS, although the city is still in the grant application process for Phase 2, said Darwish.

Broska said the city would try to communicate lane and road closures and residents would have to get creative to avoid traffic congestion, at times.

"It just requires a little bit of planning on their part," he said, adding most residents will be able to find ways around construction using their knowledge of the city's roads.

Email: bgaetjens@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9440

Twitter: @thegatewaynews

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