North Expressway

NOTE: The south end of the North Expressway in Akron just underwent a massive reconstruction project. Go to the official site for details.

Not sure why this sign post is so tall. Other nearby overhead signs are the same way.
On Ohio 8 Southbound in Cuyahoga Falls, approaching Ohio 59 (it joins Ohio 8 at the interchange to which this sign refers)

Confusing Interchanges
On most maps, it appears that ramps lead between Portage Trail (road on overpass) and Ohio 8/59 to the north. This is not the case. These ramps actually go under Portage Trail and connect with Broad Boulevard, which is to the south. In between those two roads are the ramps connecting Portage Trail to Ohio 8/59 to the south; these ramps meet Portage Trail on its bridge over the freeway (the onramp is visible in the background). There are also ramps between Broad Boulevard and Ohio 8/59 to the south. Also note that even though Ohio 59 has joined Ohio 8 by this point, 59 is not acknowledged by many signs, especially signs directing traffic onto this freeway, nor is it acknowledged by the public in general (who simply call the whole stretch of freeway "Route 8").

For many years, Akron had a unique style of traffic light, like these at the intersection of Carroll Street and the Ohio 8 Northbound ramp for Carroll Street/Buchtel Street/University of Akron. The red light always used a twelve-inch lens and had a cut-away visor. Green and yellow usually used eight-inch lenses (like the light for Westbound Carroll on the right assembly) but occasionally used twelve-inch ones (like the light for Westbound Carroll in the center assembly); yellows always had tunnel visors, and greens always had cut-away visors. The visor pattern is identical to that used on the traffic lights installed by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in that state. Arrows usually had twelve-inch lenses, as pictured. You can also see the use of an all-twelve-inch five-lens "doghouse" assembly (for Eastbound Carroll in the center assembly). The color was consistently the dark green pictured. Akron is getting away from this style (notice the Ohio 8 ramp/Buchtel intersection in the background), but signal assemblies using it are still widespread throughout the city.

The south end of Ohio 8 and the north end of "Central Interchange."
The interchange southeast of Downtown Akron where Interstate 76, Interstate 77, and Ohio 8 meet is called the "Central Interchange"; go here for a map. (As you might guess, the highways leading away from this interchange are officially called the North, East, South, and West Expressways, though in common practice they are only called by their route numbers.) This interchange only existed in part for a while; toward the beginning of the time of area freeway construction, only the North and East Expressways were completed, and only the ramps needed to connect those two highways at the Central Interchange were built. This is apparent by looking at the interchange: Notice how the top level looks more modern than the middle level. The ramps that carry I-77 traffic through this interchange are built to have two lanes, but only one is in use on each; the other is painted over with diagonal stripes. There is a "secret" off-ramp in this interchange: The ramp from Ohio 8 to I-76 Westbound/I-77 Northbound has its own off-ramp to Johnston Street (the street on the bridge in the foreground), but the only sign announcing the ramp is in the exit gore of the ramp (and even then, the font on that sign is not the standard ODOT freeway-sign font). Some maps also show a corresponding on-ramp connecting Lumiere Street to the Ohio 8 on-ramp from I-76 Westbound, but this ramp no longer exists, having been closed due to its dangerous engineering (thanks to K. M.-R. for confirming its former existence). About the signs, which have been replaced since this photo was taken in 1999: It's interesting how Ohio 8 didn't warrant its own "END" sign. Notice that there was once an Interstate shield just to the left of the I-77 shield in the left sign. Also notice the signs in general: They seem to be of a fairly old design. This type of sign was commonly found around Akron for many years. Also see the I-76 & I-76/77 Akron pages.

Page created on December 28, 2002/Last revised July 21, 2005

Questions and comments can be sent to Sandor Gulyas or Marc Fannin

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