July 28, 2014

Medina
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Fixing Medina’s most dangerous roadway

MEDINA — Government officials said Tuesday a road-widening project a decade in the making could begin in mid-July 2015.

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell said the project — set to add a fifth lane to U.S. Route 42 between Harding Street in Medina and Fenn Road in Medina Township — is important because that 1½-mile stretch of commercial road is the most dangerous in the city.

Dennis Hanwell

At a news conference Tuesday, he said the widened road should reduce the number of accidents and revitalize the businesses there by reducing traffic congestion.

“This is an exciting time for us here in Medina,” he said.

“We’re a patient group, but this needed to happen.”

Route 42’s widening will cost about $47 million and will be funded by bonds backed by Ohio Turnpike toll revenues, Gov. John Kasich announced last month.

Hanwell said the city has contributed about $1 million to the project.

The plan is one of more than 40 road projects statewide totaling about $3 billion.

Allen Biehl

“This … will bring 60,000 jobs across the state of Ohio,” said Allen Biehl, deputy director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, District 3. “That’s a huge investment.”

Another Medina County project, this one to widen 1½ miles of state Route 18, is still in its infancy, Biehl said.

The widening of Route 42, also known as North Court Street and Pearl Road, is estimated to be completed in September 2016 — just more than a year after it begins.

When complete, the road will have two lanes each for north- and southbound traffic and a center lane for left turns.

Biehl said there should be one lane open in both directions when construction begins. He said there will be more details when the construction date nears.

Biehl said the next step in the Route 42 project is to go before the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission to get approval for the bonds. He said he expects final approval by next month.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how the project will benefit this corridor,” he said.

Biehl said the project was spurred by state Sen. Larry Obhof, R-Montville Township, who also spoke at the news conference.

Obhof said he looks forward to how the road widening will benefit the area.

“Route 42 is an economic growth center in Medina County,” he said. “I think this will be a strong economic driver for the next 10 or 15 years.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.