EASTWOOD MALL Analysis offers way to improve traffic

Officials are planning for 2025 traffic.
HOWLAND -- Traffic flow around the Eastwood Mall can be improved without the construction of new access roads or the controversial North Road Connector, an analysis has concluded.
What's needed is the widening of state Route 82, 46 and U.S. 422, the construction of a cloverleaf at the 82/46 interchange, and an overpass over state Route 82 for Howland Wilson Road, the latest analysis says.
After months of discussion and several public hearings, an engineering firm's ideas have been refined to a single proposal, combining elements of six concepts presented at public meetings since April.
The analysis by the Akron engineering firm Burgess & amp; Niple was designed to address traffic problems the area will face in 2025. The study's total cost is expected to top $7 million.
Completing the study is a first step in getting federal funding to improve the roads, which could cost $132 million, officials said. No money for improvements has been secured yet.
"At this point, it is just a proposal," said project engineer Mike McCarthy.
Presenting ideas
The proposal will be presented to organizations and government agencies that have a stake in the area Thursday and at a public meeting from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25 in the Howland Middle School cafeteria.
It would be up to the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments to finally approve the study and pursue funding, he said.
Several of the ideas incorporated into the plan could result on the loss of homes or businesses, officials say.
A new, loop interchange at state Routes 82 and 46 could affect property owners on the northeast corner, and property owners could also be affected by road widening through Howland Corners and by the proposed construction of a Howland Wilson overpass over state Route 82, McCarthy said.
"We are not saying 100 percent [that] without a doubt this is what we want to have done," he said. "We are just saying it is a plausibility this might happen."
Rest of plan
Other aspects of the plan include:
UWidening state Route 46 to include an additional southbound lane from state Route 82 to Mines Road; widening state Route 46 to five total lanes, including a center turn lane, from state Route 82 to Warren Sharon Road (East Market Street); and widening state Route 46 to three lanes, including a center turn lane, between Warren-Sharon Road and Kings Graves Road.
UWidening state Route 82 to six lanes from East Market Street to the state Route 11 interchange.
UWidening East Market Street to four lanes over Mosquito Creek and near the state Routes 11 and 82 interchange.
UImprovements along U.S. Route 422 at the intersections of North Road, West Mall Drive, East Mall Drive, Shaker Boulevard, Gypsy Lane, Johnnycake Road and state Route 46.
UImprovements along state Route 46 at intersections with Eastwood Mall Drive, Highland Terrace, Mines Road, Niles Vienna Road, Howland Springs Road, Warren-Sharon Road and King Graves Road.

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