City Council to discuss downtown development, bridge construction

Christina Thomas

City council will meet at 7 tonight to discuss the Fairchild Avenue bridge construction project as well as plans for downtown development.

“The bridge project is not in its final form,” City Engineer James Bowling said. “It’s in the planning stages, but people are going to want to know what could potentially be happening.”

One goal is to authorize staff to sign the Fairchild Avenue Bridge project construction agreement. According to the Kent city Web site, the agreement is between the city of Kent, Portage County and the Ohio Department of Transportation. The project is scheduled to begin between late May and early June, Bowling said.

City Manager Dave Ruller stated in his pre-meeting report that with the design and right of way phases of the bridge project complete, it is time to move into the construction phase.

Dan Smith, economic development director for Kent, said the downtown planning presentation will be the first opportunity for residents to review the work that has been completed with their 20-member steering committee.

“This year we have seen the first major new investment in our historic downtown in many decades with the Phoenix Project,” Smith said. “In addition, we continue to clear the way to make additional proposed investment a reality.”

Smith said there are many visible signs of progress for downtown Kent, and the city’s skyline will be undergoing tremendous changes over the next two years.

Contact public affairs reporter Christina Thomas at [email protected].