Summit Street improvement project set to finish by fall 2018

Moira Reed

A second roundabout, road improvements and additional bike and pedestrian lanes will conclude the Summit Street construction.

Originally scheduled to finish at the end of 2017, the improvement plan extended because of weather and other timing issues. It resumed on Jan. 16, between E. Summit Street and Lincoln Street.

Deputy Service Director and Superintendent of Engineering Jim Bowling said they plan on completing construction before Fall 2018, though there will still be some work going on after that time.

 Making sure pavement road work completes before students return next fall is the main focus Bowling said.

“We plan to minimize the impact of faculty, staff and student drivers in the area while we continue to finish out construction,” Bowling said.

The rest of the work left includes the area east of Janik Drive. Contractors will add more accessible bike lanes and pedestrian crossings to help with travel routes and traffic flow, Bowling said.

“The purpose of the second roundabout is to replace the two signalized intersections that used to exist between West Campus Center and West Risman Drive,” Bowling said.  

“The roundabout location will exist where the temporary traffic signal currently stands across from the M.A.C. Center. The temporary signal will remain in place for the rest of spring semester until construction is completed,” Bowling said.

Students have been eager to see the Summit Street project come to a close because of its inconvenience for both commuter and on-campus students.

“I am not thrilled about the extension of this construction, however I’m glad to hear it will be completed for my senior year,” said Leah Cavanaugh, junior environmental conservation biology major and current resident on S. Lincoln Street.

 Cavanaugh plans to renew her lease on S. Lincoln Street next fall and frequently travels down Summit Street to get to class and work.

Commuter students often need additional time in order to arrive to their classes with more than just a minute to spare.

Junior psychology major and commuter student Alexa Buda can relate.

“The Summit Street construction has been a real inconvenience for me,” Buda said. “The last two semesters I have had to rearrange my class schedule to accommodate for my morning commute to campus.”

Bowling plans to meet with members of the Kent State Administration on March 7 to discuss further progress on the Kent Campus Master Plan.

“My division is not working on any other projects at the moment,” Bowling said when asked about future ideas or plans for the university. “Call me back in a month, because chances are there is going to be something.”

Moira Reed is the construction reporter. Contact her at [email protected].