Work has started to replace the North Expressway Viaduct that carries OH Route 8 and 59 over the Little Cuyahoga River and Elizabeth Park valley in Akron, Ohio.
Work to build the impressive Pratt deck truss started in late 1949, but a lack of steel delayed the construction of the superstructure for years. After years of delays, the bridge and 2½ miles of the new Akron Expressway were inaugurated on August 6, 1954, enabling uninterrupted travel from Perkins Street in Akron to East Cuyahoga Falls Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls. After the section of expressway opened to South Street, the state relocated OH Route 8 over the new road from East Market Street to Tallmadge Avenue.
Efforts to replace the deteriorating North Expressway Viaduct commenced in 2012. While it is in no danger of collapse, it features a fracture-critical design, and its rehabilitation would not be cost-effective. The project encompasses the construction of two new bridges, each with three lanes in both directions and an auxiliary lane for vehicles entering and exiting at Glenwood Avenue and Perkins Street. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new bridges was held on August 11, 2023.