Summit County expecting $1 million from state to reopen Akron-Peninsula Road next year

Eric Marotta
Akron Beacon Journal
Peninsula Mayor Daniel Schneider points to the  erosion along the Cuyahoga River that has closed Akron-Peninsula Road because of safety concerns Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021 in Peninsula, Ohio.

Akron-Peninsula Road in the Cuyahoga Valley, which was closed just south of Route 303 last November, will be shifted and rebuilt further away from the Cuyahoga River, with completion tentatively planned for early next summer.

Summit County is expecting to get up to $1 million for the project, after Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker's office applied for emergency funds from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

The engineer's office will be administering the project on behalf of Peninsula, after the village last year closed the road and informed county officials it did not have the funding to fix it.

More: Officials say Akron-Peninsula Road to remain closed indefinitely.

Peninsula Mayor Dan Schneider said an $810,000 preliminary estimate to fix the road was equivalent to the village's entire budget.

Schneider thanked Brubaker and his staff for reaching out to help, explaining the village had not even been able to allocate $100,000 in engineering costs that would make it possible to even apply for the grant.

"It's super inconvenient for everyone, on a small scale, but I couldn't see 300 households pay to reopen the road for 3 minutes of inconvenience," he said. "Believe me, we're super excited."

More on funding of the Akron-Peninsula Road project

An engineer hired by Peninsula last year to assess the road damage caused by erosion of the Cuyahoga River bank determined it must be closed, as the road pavement was cracking and could potentially slide into the river.

Heidi Swindell, director of administration for the engineer's office, said the county's application for the grant was submitted April 8.

"We were hoping to do it as a design-build, but we haven't worked out all of those details yet," she said, explaining plans are to have one company both design the improvements and perform the work, rather than hiring separate engineering and construction firms.

"We will need to provide a 10% match for this funding," she said. "We are looking at ways to make that happen."

She said one option could be through the American Rescue Plan, which has $1.5 billion for counties that have a significant portion of federal land. In Summit County's case, that would be the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which surrounds the village of Peninsula.

"We don't know how much we're going to get, but we do know that funding can be used for any government function," she said.

These are the plans to reopen Akron-Peninsula Road 

Plans to reopen the road include moving it at least 25 feet away from the Cuyahoga River, embankment stabilization work, and river debris removal.

Swindell said that since there is a 100-foot right of way on that section of the road, it does not appear any land will need to be acquired for the project.

She said it is possible the road will be reopened by June 2022, though the date and project scope are subject to change during the design process.

Eric Marotta can be reached at 330-541-9433, or Follow him on Twitter @MarottaEric.