1. As of Thursday morning (June 17, 2010), the Brady Lake bridge was re-opened and fully operational. All barricades and detour signs have been removed.
2. The Fairchild Avenue Bridge project is in full gear and construction progress continues to be good. However, the detours are taking their toll on motorists’ patience and on the residents that live in the area — especially on Carthage where residents have had to deal with a lot more cut thru traffic on their otherwise quiet street. The Public Safety Director and City Traffic Engineer are monitoring the detour patterns and working with ODOT to keep the collateral problems to a minimum. The Police have been using the speed trailer to track speeds and traffic volumes cutting through the neighborhood to see if any further neighborhood protections should be installed. In the meantime, if you need to get to Hudson Road from SR 43, please think of your neighbors and use the High School road at least during the slow summer months.
I was recently asked if the bridge project was worth all the detour frustrations and for anyone else who has the same thought, for what it’s worth, here’s my thoughts on that: The Fairchild Avenue Bridge project is significant to the Kent community on many levels. First and foremost, it improves the traffic flow at the most congested intersection in Portage County, and less congestion means better safety for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Secondly, it creates a new northern gateway into Kent that will be an attractive amenity that includes new landscaping and green space, connections to the regional hike and bike trail and stormwater features that we hope will create a great first impression for visitors to Kent and also be something that will become a point of pride for existing residents and businesses. Lastly, the new bridge alignment was selected because it will do a better job of directing traffic away from the Crain Avenue neighborhoods and into our downtown where we want the traffic to be in order to support all our new business and restaurants. When you have a project of this magnitude you have an opportunity to do something special and we are excited by what this project holds in store for Kent. Hopefully, knowing what’s coming will make it a little easier for folks to tolerate the traffic detouring impacts which are admittedly frustrating but are regrettably unavoidable.