A headache, but a necessity

Anyone who frequently travels along Route 43 North has no doubt taken note of the ongoing construction near the Crain Avenue Bridge. According to a Kent city brochure, the intersection surrounding the bridge is the most congested intersection in Summit and Portage counties. And all this construction is aiming to help fix the problem.

So when it’s all said and done, this construction will be a good thing. What we now know is the Crain Avenue Bridge will become a pedestrian walkway, and the intersection will be eliminated. A new bridge — Fairchild Bridge — will connect North Water Street and State Route 43.

Construction has been going on from time to time during this academic year. But students returning from spring break may have noticed that now it’s in full swing.

Starting March 29, traffic was restricted to one lane on Route 43 North. Starting April 15, it will be restricted to one lane going south, too. All the while, temporary pavement is being built, so come May 5, when traffic will be directed to that pavement, and Fairchild Avenue, between Hudson Road and 43, will close.

It sounds like a headache, and it really is.

It’s not just the fact that many people use these roads as a way to get to and from Streetsboro or Stow — it’s the fact that there’s no quick way to get around the construction.

We’re glad the city is building temporary pavement on 43 instead of shutting it all down completely, but it will only help so much. The already-bad congestion will increase even more.

Local business owners have also expressed concern about the state of their businesses during this time of construction. If people can’t easily and quickly get to them, how will they fare? Patrons can do their part by setting aside a few extra minutes for the commute instead of just not going there. It’d be a shame to see places like Digger’s lose revenue during this long, but necessary, construction period.

The good thing is those who will still be around the area when the project is completed in 2012 will have a much better experience navigating their way through that area.

Things like this take time. And we hope the city and motorists will be able to reach a mutual understanding. For the city, we hope they will be as efficient as possible in getting the project completed on schedule. For the motorists, we hope they’ll realize the necessity of this project and be patient while the city completes it.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.