Mahoning Ave. traffic light work set for summer

YOUNGSTOWN — A $1.7 million project to Mahoning Avenue, one of the busiest corridors on Youngstown’s West Side, will begin in the summer and is the first of three jobs planned for the road by the city through late next year.

The city’s board of control Thursday approved the contract with Perram Electric Inc. of Wadsworth to install new traffic lights at 10 intersections between Meridian Road, the city’s western border with Austintown, and Oak Hill Avenue, where the street ends at the Spring Commons Bridge and becomes Fifth Avenue downtown.

The work also includes new curb ramps in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Perram will start the work in the summer and has 120 days to get it done, Charles Shasho, the city’s deputy director of public works, said.

But it could take longer, he said.

“We may have to cut them some slack because of the availability of the poles” as a result of supply-chain issues, Shasho said.

An ordinance in front of city council Wednesday to allow the board of control to enter into a $215,000 contract with a consultant to provide inspection, construction management and testing for the signal upgrade got a first reading. There weren’t enough council members at the meeting to pass the legislation by emergency.

Council is scheduled to meet next June 7.

The city hired GPD Group, a national company with an office in Youngstown, for $540,000 in September 2019 for design work and engineering on the project. The firm also did a traffic study of the 10 lights to determine if any of the signals should be removed. The study determined none of the lights should be eliminated, Shasho said.

Vehicular traffic to Mahoning Avenue and the side roads will be maintained during the project with no detours, Shasho said.

Much of Mahoning Avenue has had lane restrictions for close to a year as Dominion Energy Ohio has been working on a gas pipe project.


The city is planning two other projects next year on Mahoning Avenue and is working to coordinate them, Shasho and Water Commissioner Harry L. Johnson III said.

One project to resurface and make other improvements to Mahoning Avenue is estimated to cost $3.7 million.

The project on Mahoning Avenue goes from Meridian Road to Glenwood Avenue, a 2.12-mile stretch of road, Shasho said.

In addition to resurfacing, other proposed improvements include pavement repairs, manhole adjustments, some drainage repairs, new traffic control signs and new pavement markings.

The work is supposed to start in the summer of 2024, Shasho said.

Meanwhile, a project to replace a water mainline on Mahoning Avenue between Belle Vista and Lakeview avenues is supposed to start early next year and be finished by October 2024. The project also includes the replacement of waterlines, several of which contain lead, to about 300 homes on the streets that run south of Mahoning Avenue.

“We need to get the waterline done so we don’t pave the road and then break it for the waterline,” Shasho said.

The water project is estimated to cost about $4 million, Johnson said.

Design work for the water project was held up because city council didn’t have enough members at Wednesday’s meeting to vote by emergency measure on a $142,000 engineering contract with Arcadis U.S. Inc.’s Cleveland office to design the work and administer the bidding process.

The board of control had to remove approval for the contract from its Thursday meeting agenda because of the lack of action by city council.

The water main to be replaced is one of two 8-inch lines that run parallel along Mahoning Avenue. Water service on the south side of the street are connected to the line and would be replaced with a 12-inch line.

The line has a history of breaks, Johnson said.

About 300 service lines to homes on the streets on the south side of the road would be replaced. Based on the age of the homes and waterlines, about 200 to 250 of them contain lead though a definitive number won’t be known until the lines are replaced, Johnson said.

The streets getting new lines under this proposal are South Maryland, South Portland, South Lakeview, South Evanston, Milton, Halls Heights, Eleanor, South Whitney, Mayfield, McKinley and Olson avenues and Hampton Court.

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