B&N designed the complex interchange improvement in downtown Akron, Ohio, at the junction of I-76, I-77 and State Route 8. This interchange improvement is to replace the left exit ramps from both west bound and east bound I-76. Reconstruction of these ramps will address both the poor bridge condition and the substandard ramp geometry. The two new flyover bridges are being constructed to replace deficient left-handed exit ramps. During the early phase of project development, B&N developed a proposed concept that allowed for a significant amount of construction to occur off-line, reducing the construction costs and impacts to the traveling public. The new concept should allow for mainline traffic movements of I-76, I-77 and SR 8 to have minimal disruption and the need for closures.
The project includes three new bridges, two reconstructed bridges, 12 retaining walls, 12,000 linear-feet of new noise walls, total roadway reconstruction and new interchange lighting. The prescriptive plans B&N prepared are being incorporated into a $160M design-build project.
B&N evaluated an option that implemented Performance-Based Practical Design (PBPD) to squeeze the additional lane through this system interchange and south of that under six additional overhead bridges. The chosen alternative reduced the lane widths from 12 feet to 11 and reduced the median shoulder width to 4 feet. The outside shoulder was maintained as 10 feet wide except under the existing bridges where it narrowed to a minimum 4-foot width.
Implementing PBPD saved the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) over $60M and allowed the improvement to be included in a Design-Build pavement rehabilitation project that was being designed. B&N finalized the study and drafted the necessary documentation, including the Design Exceptions that were required for this project.
This project is scheduled to begin construction in Spring 2021.