Kent City Manager Dave Ruller said the city will make good on a promise to fix potholes on West Main Street ahead of a resurfacing project planned almost two years from now.

Ruller said he recently spoke to the city’s street supervisor, who said crews made some initial pothole repairs on the road, but the repairs would be "faster and more effective" when the city’s milling machine can work on the street. The machine removes sections of faulty asphalt, grinds it and makes it into new asphalt, which provides more effective repairs than a conventional pothole patch, Ruller said. 

The machine, he said, is being used in the downtown area, and is expected to return to West Main in early August.

Meanwhile, City Engineer Jim Bowling recently met with ODOT officials to discuss the state of West Main Street.

Bowling met with ODOT’s capital program administrator and its future highways projects manager to discuss the road and the schedule for resurfacing. ODOT plans to resurface West Main Street in the 2020 fiscal year as part of its Municipal Paving Program. The program helps maintain state routes in cities, which are normally responsible for their maintenance.

In the case of West Main, ODOT will be paying 80 percent of the estimated $1.4 million project cost in 2020, according to Brent Kovacs, public information officer for Ohio Department of Transportation’s District 4 office.

Kovacs said the project, about 1.5 miles in length, would extend from the border between Summit and Portage counties to Route 43 in the center of Kent. He said the plan is to grind down a portion of the road and resurface it. 

"If there are any additional repairs or change orders, those would be on the city," he added.

ODOT officials, Bowling said, had just updated the agency’s capital program, and said needed projects had to be pushed back because of a lack of funds. In Fiscal Year 2020, ODOT had delayed $400 million worth of work.

"In regards to our project, they agreed to push the project up to the earliest time possible in the programmed fiscal year," Bowling wrote in an email to Ruller. "This, however, still means construction in the summer of 2020."

Bowling said he and ODOT discussed that the state agency’s pavement ratings don’t seem to reflect current pavement conditions, and agreed to take a look at the pavement.

"Not much changed, but its fair to say that both the capital program administrator and future highways projects manager expressed their desire to get the work done sooner, but they are also frustrated with the fiscal limitations requiring the road to be paved in 2020," Bowling stated in the email.

Reporter Diane Smith can be reached at 330-298-1139 or dsmith@recordpub.com.