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  Proposed $20 Million ODOT Project Along Rt. 224 Would Create Sidewalk Along Roadway, Put Barriers Near Lanes Of Travel, Close Entrances/Exits To Parking Lots  
  February 1, 2024 Edition  
      associate editor
      Rt. 224, all the way from Boardman Center to Tiffany Blvd. could have a specially-designated right and left hand turn lanes, and as well, a sidewalk along the whole stretch, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has proposed.
      ODOT announced in July, 2023 that funding has been secured for what it called “major safety improvements.” ODOT said construction will begin in 2026, and set cost of the project at some $20 million.
      The project also calls for eliminating a traffic light at California Ave. and Rt. 224;, closing-off one entrance/exit to the Southern Park Mall, and limiting access to business parking lots along Rt. 224.
      At Boardman Center (Market St. and Rt. 224), plans calls for aligning road lanes, lengthening some turn lanes and providing an ‘audible countdown’ for pedestrians at the intersection.
      Between the intersection and Southern Blvd., barriers (concrete medians) will be erected in the roadways in an effort to make the roadway more safe and limit left hand turns.
      Along Rt. 224, near Applewood Blvd., signalized ‘u-turns’ will be created for both east and west travel, for what ODOT says is for mitigation access management measures.”
      All of the proposed changes are currently provided by ODOT via a virtual open house regarding proposed safety improvements where a pre-recorded presentation is available to provide an overview of the project history, present the recommended alternative and receive input from the public.
      The proposed project is currently in the environmental engineering phase that includes environmental studies and preliminary plan development. Right-of-way acquisition is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2024, followed by construction in the spring of 2026.
      The virtual open house is available through March 1 and can be viewed on the project website at the following link:
      “We invite the public to visit the project website, view the presentation, review the available project information and the recommended alternatives, and submit your questions or comments via email, on the project website, or by calling 330-786-2274. Comments received by March 1, 2024, will be compiled, replied to, and posted on the project website,” according to Sean Carpenter, district environmental specialist for ODOT.
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