Frequently Asked Questions | Summit Street Improvement Project | Kent State University

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Summit Street Improvement Project?

The Summit Street Improvement Project will transform a 1-mile stretch of East Summit Street, from Lincoln to Loop Road, and significantly reduce traffic congestion, making it safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. 

The project enhancements include the elimination of one intersection, relocation of Campus Center Drive to align with the Student Green, the construction of two roundabouts, a boulevard and the installation of bike paths, sidewalks and crosswalks. 

View a list of improvements

Why is there a need for this project?

According to the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS), Summit Street is the most congested roadway (non-freeway) in Portage and Summit Counties. When funding was obtained for the project, four of the intersections along Summit Street were in the top six high-crash intersections in the City of Kent. Finally, from 2010-2012, statistics show that 23 percent of all pedestrian crashes within the City of Kent occurred along the Summit Street project area.

How long will the project last?

Work on Summit Street is expected to begin in 2015 and be completed in 2018. The time frame is heavily dependent on weather, utilities and other factors. 

Are there phases to the project?

Yes. The project has been divided into phases to reduce the amount of impact to those who travel this stretch of roadway. The first phase, which included improvements to Summit Street from Fraternity Circle to Loop Rd, was completed in Decemer 2016.  The second phase, which will begin in March 2017, will improve Summit Street from Lincoln Street to Fraternity Circle.

During each phase one-way, one-lane, eastbound traffic will be maintained in the construction zones. Two-way, two-lane traffic will be maintained in all other areas of the project.    

When will Phase One work begin?

Work on Phase One was completed in December 2016.  This included enhancements to Summit Street from Fraternity Circle to Whitehall Blvd. 




Is there a detour route for Phase One construction?

Yes. The westbound detour is St. Rt. 261 to St. Rt. 43 North to Summit St.  Detour signs will be posted.

When will work on Phase Two begin?

Work is scheduled to begin on Phase Two during the week of Feb. 27, 2017 and will continue through November 2017.  Phase Two includes the stretch of Summit Street from Fraternity Circle to Lincoln Street. 

Is there a detour route for Phase Two construction?

Yes.  The detour route is State Route 261 to State Route 43 North to Summit Street. Electronic message boards will be operating to advise motorists of lane closures and the detour route. You can view a detour and campus-access route video at


Will pedestrian access be maintained throughout the project?

Yes. There may be times when pedestrians will have to walk to the east or west of their usual crossing, but all approved pedestrian routes will be clearly marked. In addition, the City of Kent and the university will monitor the situation closely to make sure any disruptions are minimized and that safety is maintained. 

Will motorists have access to all parking and other facilities within the construction zone?

Yes. All traffic, including emergency vehicles, will have access to all facilities at all times. This includes Kent State University buildings and parking lots in the construction area.