Although several months behind schedule, stretch between Monument Road and Mercy Drive is expected to reopen by early August

The city is in the final stages of a lengthy upgrade to the street intersecting with Interstate 77 near Mercy Medical Center.

The stretch of 12th Street NW between Monument Road and Mercy Drive is expected to reopen by early August, a couple of months behind schedule. It closed to traffic in May 2017.

The $10 million in improvements, funded largely by state and federal grants, is a "a wonderful investment in (Canton)," city Engineer Dan Moeglin recently said. The city contributed about $1 million, and Stark County, which owns the West Branch of Nimishillen Creek bridge, contributed about $200,000 toward the project.

It's the westernmost portion of a $56 million east-west corridor project that began in 2014.

The 12th Street NW work includes two bridges — one over the West Branch of Nimishillen Creek and another over Canton Waterworks Raceway. The West Branch Trail path now passes under the partially complete Nimishillen Creek bridge, and the Herbert L. Fisher walking track will cross over.

The Nimishillen Creek bridge construction was delayed by a lower-than-expected rock level, which prompted crews to pour unreinforced concrete for the foundation, Moeglin said.

The road nearest the highway already has new curbs, sidewalks, trees and decorative lights. The street is slightly straighter but still a serpentine hill.

There will be one lane in each direction, instead of two westbound, to accommodate the straightening and an extra wide sidewalk on the south side and a new sidewalk on the north side.

Concrete curbs also continue down the hill, as work continues to progress near the bridges. Stark Area Regional Transit Authority is expected to build bus shelters on either side of the street.

Moeglin has said the work will beautify the area while enhancing pedestrian and bike access.

"It's creating a much better entrance to the city," he said.

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On Twitter: @kbyerREP