261 construction paves way for new bike path

Jessica Rothschuh

Traffic to the stadium will be detoured sometime next week to allow the installation of a bicycle bridge over state Route 261 about 266 yards north of where Summit Street intersects state Route 261.

“It will definitely close that section (of road) for two days,” said Tom Euclide, director of architecture and engineering for the university. “There may be some complications with students trying to get to the stadium to park if that is where they usually park.”

The construction was originally scheduled for last Wednesday and Thursday.

The bridge is being shipped to the site in prefabricated form from a manufacturer in Alabama, and complications with trucking have delayed the installation, said Tom Clapper, general manager of transportation services for the university.

“We’re looking at possibly next Thursday or Friday,” said Sommer Dunlevy, public information specialist for the Ohio Department of Transportation. The department, which is in charge of the bridge’s construction, has specified an official detour from state Route 44 to state Route 59.

The bike path is part of the Portage Hike and Bike Trail and will connect the bike path from Kent to Ravenna, Dunlevy said. It should be completed and available for use by late September.

This bridge will just connect Hodgeman Lane to Horning Road, but by next summer, the bike trail should run from behind the Maintenance Building to the Child Development Center, Euclide said.

Contact news correspondent Jessica Rothschuh at [email protected].