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Government and Politics


Akron's Route 8 an interstate?
Transportation officials push for the designation, saying the red, white and blue interstate signs could pay big dividends for business
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
Akron transportation officials say Route 8 is ready to become Interstate 380.
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In The Region:

A move to transform State Route 8 from Akron to Macedonia into an interstate highway would initially change nothing along the six-lane, divided roadway. But it could make a big difference at the interchanges. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the push to put Route 8 on the map in a different way.

LISTEN: The big change may come at the interchanges

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The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study is asking for the state’s blessing for the plan and has even come up with a name for the 20 miles it wants to make an interstate: I-380. 

Jason Segedy says the change makes sense now that the two-lane stretch of road is a freeway with new ramps and bridges and no more stoplights.

He says the change would make the open land along the interchanges more sellable, especially to chain businesses that cluster around interstates.

“They might have a corporate office that’s in another state and I think hearing that a prospective site or development is off of interstate such and such has more cache than state route such and such because I think people who are unfamiliar with our region, state route something could sound like a rural two-lane road when it’s actually the busiest freeway in greater Akron.”

Segedy says the change might also boost Route 8’s profile when it comes to divvying up federal highway money. Segedy says he hopes to hear back from the Ohio Department of Transportation in a few weeks, and then the proposal would go onto the Federal Highway Administration. 

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