A folder from the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments contains some of the 88-page report titled Mahoning River Corridor Revitalization. It’s the most comprehensive post-steel report ever produced on the Mahoning River — a blueprint of what the river could mean for quality of life for years to come. But there’s not just a written report, there’s a video too.
The video and report focus primarily on the Mahoning River’s future.
“Once you clean the river, people want to use the river, look in the river, fish in the river,” said Joann Esenwein with the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.
Esenwein and Shannon Fergus of MS Consultants compiled the report. They both talked about the removal of nine dams along the river and how the process of revitalization has already started. The report is a guide for what happens from here.
“So the Valley is going to have this new asset that they didn’t really use to use,” Fergus said.
The plan moves with the river’s flow, describing how each community could take advantage. The vision for Braceville is cedar-sided cabins. In Warren, there would be an apartment building. The industrial remnants could also be used. A bridge was once part Youngstown Sheet and Tube — it remains, and with some creativity, could be put to good use.
“It’s a quality of life thing. You want people to enjoy the river. We want you to find the river. That’s one of the recommendations is wayfinding — how do I get to it?” Esenwein said.
One suggestion is construction of what would be called the Mahoning River Greenway. It would hug the river wherever possible with spurs leading into each town.
“Sometimes that’s a good thing. It gets folks off the trail and into that downtown where they can stop in, get off their bike, have an ice cream cone, have a beer,” Fergus said.
“I see there not being any reason whatsoever that the Valley over the next 10 or 20 years can’t have some kind of continuous recreational bike network,” Fergus said.
At the end, there were also six pages dedicated to the various grants and programs to help pay for it all.
Originally published by WYTV.