YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The director of public works in Youngstown, Chuck Shasho, provided an update to the construction in downtown Youngstown Friday.
“We’re gonna talk about what we’ve accomplished so far,” he said.
Shasho took to Zoom Friday morning to show how much progress has been made since work started.
Within the next 30 days, several more roads and intersections will close downtown.
“The general process is always demolition. We tear out what we have to tear out, then we put the underground stuff in,” he said.
Currently, three roads are under construction as part of the SMART2 project. Boardman Street, Commerce Street and Front Street are being worked on. But soon, construction will also begin on Federal Street near South Avenue.
All four of those roads will be closed once they begin the paving process, which should take two to three weeks to complete.
This should start within the next 30 days — concrete crosswalks will be poured on Boardman Street, causing it to be closed between Market Street and Hazel Street. The Boardman Street and Phelps Street intersection will also get paved and be closed for two to three weeks.
“It takes about two weeks, two-and-a-half to three weeks to get them installed and come out of cure so that they can put traffic on them,” Shasho said.
Front Street, between Market Street and Vindicator Square, will remain closed to traffic.
Commerce Street will remain closed as curbs, light pole foundations, sidewalks and medians go in.
Within 30 days, construction will begin on Federal Street. It will start with the block from South Avenue to Market Street, then move west.
As crews work to get the roads and sidewalks rebuilt — and bicycle paths added, like one lane on Front Street — Shasho admits this has not gone as smoothly as anyone would have liked.
“We may see a basement vault or some type of unknown vault, nobody knows what it is. So those things have to be dealt with and it’s just the nature of working in a downtown area,” he said.
Shasho admits over the next month we could see parts of Commerce, Boardman, Federal and Front — which all run east and west — closing at the same time.
The street department has been working on a strategy for snow removal in the winter. Overall, the entire project will be completed by the end of 2024.