Cleveland road improvement plan will take years

1,300 miles of roads to maintain

CLEVELAND - The large explosions that have rocked downtown during the filming of the latest Captain America movies have been dramatic but not so much as the plot twist that Cleveland drivers had to deal with for the past two weeks.

There has been the shutting down of a major highway, thousands of drivers exiting, taking a hard left and driving right through the center of a major metropolis. Add major construction on that road with the addition of some bad potholes and you've got a traffic horror show.

"It's kind of a hassle," said Laura Sanner.

Mike Toma felt there was "a lot of room for improvement, if you ask me."

Harvelin Smith said the traffic and construction made it difficult to get around.

"There are just barrels everywhere, you have to take detours, the streets are stopped," Smith said.

East 9th Street is where most of the Shoreway traffic ends up, but the condition of it, like many streets downtown and throughout Cleveland is rough.

But according to Cleveland's Chief Operating Officer Darnell Brown, the concrete and asphalt patches and the hieroglyphic construction markings spray-painted on the roadway are symbols of better times to come.

"These are all symbols and signs of progress, but progress comes with a price. And usually that's kind of wearing on the public," Brown said.

Like Danny Pennington, a delivery driver who not only has to avoid the potholes, but other drivers.

"They'll be dodging chuckholes and they don't pay attention to oncoming cars," Pennington said, adding potholes this year were particularly bad. "This is the worst I've ever seen it."

The city will spend $88 million this year as they deal with nearly 1,300 miles of Cleveland roads. By increased use of crack sealant, using hot asphalt instead of cold patch, and starting to use a new spray injection method, Brown said not only will the repairs cost the city less, they will be better and last longer.

Brown said it may take up to 10 years for all the roads to be improved to the standard of the city's road repair initiative. But drivers should see better road conditions soon.

"By the end of fall or early winter, you'll see a lot of new riding surfaces in the city of Cleveland."

And now that filming for Captain America near downtown is almost finished, less highway traffic detoured through downtown Cleveland.

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