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Author Topic: US-422 Northeast Ohio  (Read 2046 times)

coldshoulder

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US-422 Northeast Ohio
« on: November 15, 2021, 12:08:50 PM »

Had the opportunity yesterday to travel US-422 from the Youngstown area towards the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, and it got me to thinking and remembering about a proposed project from nearly 20+ years ago that apparently never got much follow-through.  It's been at least five years since I was on that stretch of road, one that I used to travel fairly regularly back in the 80's and 90's when I was still working.

Between OH-44 on the west (near Auburn Corners) and the OH-5 Warren bypass at the east, the road is primarily a 4-lane divided highway with a 55-mph limit in most spots. This section is rural and residential, and traverses Geauga County, a small part in Portage County, and the remainder in Trumbull County.  However much of the terrain is somewhat hilly; and it is apparent that way back when, it was originally just a two-lane road, with the additional carriageway added at some point in the late 50's or 60's--but plenty of areas where there are narrow medians, narrow or even no shoulders, and the elevations are mismatched, making for dangerous left turns and/or cross-overs.

I recall an ODOT project that was introduced with much fanfare somewhere back around 1995 that was intended to even out the differences in the two carriageway elevations, add wider shoulders, and other upgrades as necessary. But only one section was ever completed (in southeastern Geauga County, just east of Parkman and ending near OH-282). This "newer" section is a level 5-lane highway, with no median but a center turn lane, decent-width shoulders, entirely concrete, and is much easier and safer to drive.

However, my recollection is that other sections between OH-282 and Warren were also slated for the same treatment, but nothing ever happened after that first stretch was completed. Was that it (seems like it was), or is my memory failing me?


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You're just like crosstown traffic
All you do is slow me down
And I got better things on the other side of town

PurdueBill

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Re: US-422 Northeast Ohio
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2022, 10:23:17 AM »

Had the opportunity yesterday to travel US-422 from the Youngstown area towards the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, and it got me to thinking and remembering about a proposed project from nearly 20+ years ago that apparently never got much follow-through.  It's been at least five years since I was on that stretch of road, one that I used to travel fairly regularly back in the 80's and 90's when I was still working.

Between OH-44 on the west (near Auburn Corners) and the OH-5 Warren bypass at the east, the road is primarily a 4-lane divided highway with a 55-mph limit in most spots. This section is rural and residential, and traverses Geauga County, a small part in Portage County, and the remainder in Trumbull County.  However much of the terrain is somewhat hilly; and it is apparent that way back when, it was originally just a two-lane road, with the additional carriageway added at some point in the late 50's or 60's--but plenty of areas where there are narrow medians, narrow or even no shoulders, and the elevations are mismatched, making for dangerous left turns and/or cross-overs.

I recall an ODOT project that was introduced with much fanfare somewhere back around 1995 that was intended to even out the differences in the two carriageway elevations, add wider shoulders, and other upgrades as necessary. But only one section was ever completed (in southeastern Geauga County, just east of Parkman and ending near OH-282). This "newer" section is a level 5-lane highway, with no median but a center turn lane, decent-width shoulders, entirely concrete, and is much easier and safer to drive.

However, my recollection is that other sections between OH-282 and Warren were also slated for the same treatment, but nothing ever happened after that first stretch was completed. Was that it (seems like it was), or is my memory failing me?


The conversion from dual carriageway with one (the original road) undulating and the other (added later) more flat with a 5-lane undivided road with center turn lane sounds exactly like what they did to OH 18 from the Summit/Medina line to I-71 in the '00s.  Collisions (got to see one a number of years back that was real bad) involving left-turning traffic across the 55-mph road led ODOT to plan to re-divide the road with a median or guardrail, only for that to see so much protest from businesses that it was dropped in 2017. 
I wonder if ODOT wants to avoid similar situations and blowback and will avoid future conversions like that?
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JREwing78

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Re: US-422 Northeast Ohio
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2022, 08:34:25 PM »

The section west of Parkman drove me nuts with its 45 mph speed limit and its ancient design. I wouldn't be surprised if the twinning was completed in the 1940s - it feels that dated. It's also had the traffic to justify a modern reconstruction forever - though with I-480 and I-80 nearby a major upgrade was probably hard to justify.

I'm pretty sure most of the local Amish population wisely chooses to stay off this road, but that's another danger to throw into the mix justifying the 45 mph speed limit.
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thenetwork

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Re: US-422 Northeast Ohio
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2022, 12:19:13 AM »

From what I understood, re: the mismatched elevations of carriageways on current US-422 and the old SR-18:

Prior to converting these highways to 2x2, the original 2-lane roadways were built with limited capabilities to grade and level long stretches of hilly terrain. 

When the time came to add a second 2-lane carriageway, in order to keep construction budgets low, and not having the proper foresight on how busy traffic counts would get within a decade or two in the future, they figured that not rebuilding/re-grading the original roadway would be okay.  They were anticipating the Ohio Turnpike to relieve a lot of the Youngstown‐Cleveland traffic off of US-422, and the completion of i-71 north of SR-18 to relieve a lot of the Columbus-Cleveland traffic that used SR-18 to connect between the completed I-71 with US-21.

What they didn't anticipate is the urban sprawl that made Medina a bedroom community for both Cleveland and Akron.  Add the fact that the proposed I-80S routing between Lodi and Norwalk was canceled and more truck traffic preferred to use SR-18 from Norwalk to Akron rather than US-250/US-224.

SR-18 was finally rebuilt and evened out in the 90s because the traffic counts and development in the corridor demanded it to happen.

Mounting demands to rebuild US-422's mismatched alignments only really got started once the 422 Freeway was finally completed between I-271 and SR-44 and more trucks were using it to shunpike between Cleveland and Youngstown.
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