A public meeting to discuss two projects – a significant overhaul of Fifth Avenue, and plans to replace 11 traffic signals and remove 7 others in and around downtown – will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, 100 E. Federal St.
The Fifth Avenue project, from Federal Street to Madison Avenue, is expected to start in February 2020 and be done by August of that year, said Charles Shasho, the city’s deputy director of public works. The project is estimated to cost $6 million paid for by funding from the state, federal and city governments as well as Youngstown State University and the Western Reserve Transit Authority, Shasho said. The road will be open with lane restrictions while the work is being done.
“It’s going to transform downtown,” he said. “It will make it easier for people to get around. We want to make an impact. We expect this to be a springboard for other projects in the city. We need to be dynamic with this.”
The project includes reducing the number of lanes to three: one in each direction with a turning lane, Shasho said. Sections of that street are currently four, five and six lanes.
The work would also add some medians, bicycle lanes, improved sidewalks, a walking path, streetscape work, new lighting and a path for an autonomous bus shuttle, Shasho said.
A separate waterline-replacement project on Fifth Avenue will begin in a few months.
The other project to be discussed isn’t scheduled to start until 2021 and cost about $1 million to $2 million. The work will be covered 100 percent by federal funding, which isn’t available until 2021, Shasho said.
The work includes replacing 11 traffic lights and eliminating 7 others that a traffic study determined are no longer needed, he said.
The lights to be removed include Front and Marshall streets and Vindicator Square, Wick and Lincoln avenues, and Boardman and Market streets.
The lights being replaced are:
Fifth Avenue and Commerce Street
Fifth and Rayen avenues
Fifth and Lincoln avenues
Fifth Avenue and Arlington Street
Fifth Avenue and Grant Street
Fifth Avenue and Eastbound Service Road
Fifth Avenue and Westbound Service Road
Wick and Rayen avenues
Wick Avenue and Eastbound Service Road
Wick Avenue and Westbound Service Road
Front and Market streets.
At the meeting, representatives from the city, Ohio Department of Transportation District 4, Eastgate and the projects’ consultants – MS Consultants of Youngstown for Fifth Avenue and GDP Group of Akron for the signals – will discuss the planned improvements.
Published by the Youngstown Vindicator.