Long-awaited reconstruction of Mogadore Road, Tallmadge Road intersection begins

The long-awaited reconstruction of the intersection of Mogadore Road, Tallmadge Road and Interstate 76 in Brimfield has begun.

Motorists on Tallmadge Road will see various daily lane closures as contractors for the Ohio Department of Transportation begin to install temporary pavement. The $5.7 million project is expected to be completed in 2023, said Justin Chesnic, a spokesman for ODOT's District 4.

"More importantly for most of us, is they're going to close Mogadore Road northbound in the early part of June and that'll be closed for quite some time," Tallmadge service director Mike Rorar said. "You'll see a lot of commotion and gridlock there for months to come." 

Construction on Mogadore Road, Tallmadge Road and I-76 has begun. Pictured is the I-76 eastbound off ramp at Mogadore Road.

When complete, the exit ramps of I-76 will be reconfigured to intersect with Mogadore Road, with new traffic signals. Motorists will have three lanes to choose from, depending on whether they're turning right, left or continuing straight through. 

"It's going to really help with congestion and safety," Chesnic said. 

ODOT representatives, Chesnic said, notified area residents by hand-delivering brochures outlining the project to their homes. 

Motorists will have traffic pattern changes as the construction project of Mogadore Road, Tallmadge Road and I-76 has begun.

The following traffic patterns will take place this spring and summer:

  • Motorists on Tallmadge Road will see lane closures during business hours while the contractor, Shelly and Sands of Painesville, starts to install temporary pavement. Eventually, Chesnic said, all traffic will be shifted to the temporary pavement, with one lane headed east and another lane headed west.
  • The south leg of Mogadore Road, the leg that heads toward the county recycling center, will be closed to through traffic on May 10 and remain closed for the duration of the project. Traffic will be detoured to Mogadore Road to Old Forge Road to Route 43 to Tallmadge Road.
  • Starting after the Memorial Day holiday, Tallmadge Road between Cascades Boulevard and Sunnybrook Road will be reduced to two lanes. Westbound traffic will be shifted to the eastbound lane.
  • In early June, the north leg of Mogadore Road headed to Kent will be closed for 45 days. Detour will be Tallmadge Road to Route 43 to Route 261 to Mogadore Road.
  • Beginning in mid-July, the north leg of Mogadore Road will be open to southbound traffic only through September.

Portage County engineer Michael Marozzi said the county developed the project with assistance from ODOT, but ODOT assumed responsibility for the work because it involves the I-76 ramps. The county, he said, secured the necessary federal and state funding from several sources to complete the project. 

"Traffic will flow much smoother once the project is completed, however the old adage applies in this case: no pain no gain," Marozzi said. 

Marozzi's office previously said the office has long had safety concerns about traffic backing up onto the I-76 ramp heading toward Akron, and also on the other side of I-76 onto Mogadore Road.

Almost a decade ago, the engineer's office labeled the Tallmadge Road Corridor "an area of concern ... due to the consistent congestion and crashes observed on the corridor over the last decade." Another study determined there were "operational issues" in the corridor. Crash data from a safety study "indicates that the high number of rear-end crashes are a result of the congestion along the corridor related to capacity issues and inefficient operations of the traffic signals, as well as the non-traditional interchange geometrics at the I-76/Tallmadge Road interchange."

A 2017 capacity analysis on the intersection concluded that "the interchange will continue to degrade with the influx of future traffic growth if no improvements are made."

The Maplecrest development, which has opened and expanded development in the area, has added to traffic there. 

According to Rorar, a number of other construction projects are happening or will be happening soon throughout Tallmadge. 

Tallmadge Reserve Phase 2 and 3 are currently under construction, and builder Pulte Homes plans to have pavement down by the middle of June.

The traffic light installation at East Avenue and Wasburn Road is out to bid, and should be done by the end of September. 

Engineering is ongoing for the East Avenue widening project to add a turn lane, and Rorar expects to hear about funding this summer. He suspects funding will come in 2024. 

The Newton Road I-76 overpass, which in Rorar's opinion is the most potholed section of roadway in the city, will be addressed in 2023. ODOT is responsible for those repairs, which was last done in 2015 with a five-year sealer. The new sealer will be for 12 years. 

Additionally, Tallmadge is planning its annual hydrant flushing May 3 to June 1. 

Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, kkano@thebeaconjournal.com or on Twitter @KristaKanoABJ.