NILES Property would be sold for new span

Passage of the legislation regarding the viaduct project would mean the state would pay the city $31,200.
NILES -- Replacement of the state Route 46 viaduct keeps inching closer.
City council is expected to consider legislation at tonight's meeting dealing with the replacement project, expected to start in the spring or summer of 2002.
One piece of legislation would authorize the sale of a 0.1-acre parcel of city-owned land between East State and Water streets to the state for $17,200.
Another 0.185-acre piece of city-owned property between First and Second streets on the east side of state Route 46 would be sold to the state for $13,500 through another piece of legislation.
A third ordinance would grant the state a temporary right of way on and over city land on the west side of Route 46 for $500.
Likely construction start: The Ohio Department of Transportation is to award the contract for the replacement project in March, and construction would likely start in late April. It's expected to take about 21/2 years.
The 69-year-old bridge spans about one-third of a mile and extends from the city's South Side to downtown. ODOT plans for the three-to-four-lane bridge on state Route 46 to remain open during replacement. It's to be reduced to two lanes during construction.
The project has been delayed several times. Plans originally were announced in 1995 for construction to begin in 1999, and then in 2000.
Date pushed back: In 1999, the date was pushed back to the end of 2001 because of ODOT's delays in issuing contracts for the design phase of the project. That was the same reason given for pushing the construction date to spring 2002.
The steel and concrete structure is one of only two paths over the Mahoning River in the city. A bridge on Belmont Avenue, which reopened last week after a 10-month replacement project, is the other.

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