YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The total redo of the streets in downtown Youngstown is moving along. Fifth Street is finished, Phelps Street is almost done and now Front Street is next. Once again, traffic will have to be re-routed.
The current Trinity United Methodist Church has occupied the corner of Front and Phelps streets downtown since 1883. The corner is, at the moment, the epicenter of Youngstown’s Smart2 program. Phelps is almost done and work on Front is set to begin on Wednesday, Dec. 1.
“We recognize that, in the short term, it’s going to be a nuisance. There’s no doubt about it. But we know that in the long term it’s really going to be beneficial,” said Rev. Ken Gifford, pastor of the Trinity United Methodist Church.
“The bike path is going to be a landscaped area,” said Chuck Shasho, Youngstown’s deputy director of public works.
On Tuesday, Shasho guided us through the Front Street project.
“I would say the brick would probably go right in here,” he said.
The brick can better be seen at the bottom of this artist’s rendering — the brick connecting Phelps with Front and the entrance to the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre. Front Street will be reduced from four lanes to two, with a landscaped bike lane running the entire length.
“There will be brand new lighting, drainage, streetscape items. Very similar to Fifth Avenue but maybe not quite as elaborate,” Shasho said.
On Tuesday, a saw was cutting the road near the area where the new curb will go.
When full construction begins next week, westbound traffic on Front — between Market and Marshall streets — will be shut down while eastbound traffic will be maintained.
In January, Front between South Avenue and Market — in the vicinity of the Covelli Centre — will also be closed.
“I had some discussions with Eric Ryan. As long as we have access from Walnut Street going into the Covelli Centre, I think we’ll be OK,” Shasho said.
Front Street should be done by next October.
Commerce Street will also be worked on at the same time, after which, Federal Street will be redone.
All the projects under the Smart2 program will be done in 2024, after which, the plan is to also redo Boardman and Walnut streets.