Summit Street Construction


Construction workers leave the site of the 345 Flats on the corner of Summit and Depeyster Street on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016.

Taylor Kerns

One-way, one-lane eastbound traffic on Summit Street will begin March 7.

East Summit Street, which has been identified as a high-traffic, high-accident area and a dangerous corridor for pedestrians, is in the midst of a major overhaul. Work on the “Summit Street: Building a Better Way” improvement project began last fall. The project is designed to transform a one-mile stretch of the road, from Lincoln Street to Loop Road that runs through the heart of Kent campus.

The enhancements include the addition of two roundabouts, a boulevard, bike lanes, more sidewalks and crosswalks. The project, financed primarily through federal and state funds, will significantly reduce traffic congestion and create a safer and more attractive roadway.

The City of Kent is overseeing the project, which is expected to be completed in late 2017. Kent State will be working closely with the city during the next 21 months to minimize traffic disruptions. Many have already experienced delays when traveling on Summit Street, and unfortunately those delays are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Construction is underway on the first phase of the project, which runs from Fraternity Circle to just past Loop Road. One-way, one-lane eastbound traffic is scheduled to begin March 7 and continue through November. Access to buildings and parking lots in the construction area will be maintained at all times. The new traffic patterns will also result in a change for several of the PARTA bus routes, effective Feb. 29.

A website has been launched to provide timely information about the project, including bus routes, parking and other relevant information. There are also videos showing detours and the transformation of Summit Street at the project completion.

Just like typical road projects of this magnitude, those who travel Summit Street — by car, bike or on foot — will experience inconveniences. A committee of city, university and PARTA representatives has been working to minimize the disruptions, but you should expect delays and you should allow more time to reach your destination.

Taylor Kerns is a parking and transportation reporter. For more information contact her at [email protected].