Interstate 271 forms a bypass for regional traffic to the east of Cleveland through Summit and Cuyahoga Counties. The freeway connects with I-71 near Medina and I-90 near the shore of Lake Erie. The northern half of I-271, from Macdeonia to Wiloughby Hills, navigates through an array of cities and villages. This includes a dual freeway configuration northward from I-480N at Warrensville Heights.
South through the city of Bedford Heights and the community of Oakwood, I-271 combines with I-480 along a four mile overlap. The concurrency represents just one of three pairs of overlapped branch routes within the Interstate Highway System. The others are both in North Carolina; I-785 and I-840 at Greensboro and I-587 and I-795 at Wilson.
The southern portion of Interstate 271 through Summit and Medina Counties remains mostly rural. This includes a stretch through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. A set of rest areas line both roadways in Richfield Township as well.