City lets ODOT repave

Charles Cook

“What’s orange and big and sleeps six?” this month’s placemat at Mike’s Place asked. “Answer: An ODOT truck. Just kidding guys!”

In all seriousness, the Ohio Department of Transportation’s repaving project of state Route 43 wasn’t too big of a deal for Mike’s Place, manager Tobin Rogers said.

“It slowed us down some but not too much. The biggest thing was when they were right in front of the building,” Rogers said.

The department of transportation is planning to continue its repaving of state Routes 43 and 59 through Kent this summer. Both roads will have one open lane in each direction at all times.

The projects are estimated to cost about $1.3 million, said Sommer Dunlevy, public information specialist for ODOT.

The city of Kent is responsible for 20 percent of the cost plus the cost of any additional work for sidewalk ramps or other improvements necessitated by the Americans with Disability Act.

The city estimates its cost to be $386,452, Kent City Engineer Gene Roberts said.

State Route 43 will be resurfaced and widened from Rockwell Street to the northern city limits. State Route 59 will be resurfaced from the city’s western limit to its eastern limit, Roberts said. The projects will be contracted out in March, and construction is set for this spring and is planned to end in the fall, weather permitting.

“We just hope this is a good summer for that,” Dunlevy said. “So we aren’t inconveniencing too many people.”

The resurfacing was planned for the summer because it is the time with the least traffic in Kent, and warm weather is necessary to keep the asphalt from freezing, Roberts said.

He said the effect to businesses will be minimal because the process usually only takes a half hour at any given location. However, excessive damage may require rebuilding the infrastructure under the road, and sometimes that can take up to 4 hours.

“It’s like tooth decay,” Roberts said. “You have to dig down there until you get to the good stuff.”

Although he said you never know when a section of the road will need to be replaced, most of the time reconstruction isn’t necessary, and many of the businesses on state Routes 59 and 43 have side entrances.

Contact public affairs reporter Charles Cook at [email protected].