SALEM Lowering of Millville Hill to start

Part of the job may involve blasting away rock to lower Millville Hill.
SALEM -- A Trumbull County contractor will be undertaking a nearly $1.2 million project to improve safety and traffic flow in the city's east-side commercial district.
City officials agreed earlier this week to hire Kirila Contractors of Brookfield to do the job, city Service Director Joe Julian said Friday.
The project is one of the largest street improvement efforts in Salem's history, city officials have said.
The state is putting up about $765,000 for the job. The city will pay the rest.
Kirila's bid of $1,188,775 was the lower of the two bids submitted for the contract, Julian said.
Marucci & amp; Gaffney of Youngstown also sought the job, bidding $1,334,188.
A meeting among city officials and Kirila will be next week to discuss construction details, Julian said.
He added that he expects ground to be broken later this month. The project will take about six months.
What's planned: The job will focus on East State Street, just west of Cunningham Road.
East State Street passes over Millville Hill near that spot.
The project calls for lowering the hill about 14 feet because its crest hinders motorists from seeing on-coming traffic and vehicles pulling into and out of the businesses in the area.
High on the priority list as construction begins will be building a temporary road around Millville Hill so that traffic can be maintained during construction.
Project plans also call for removing Butcher Road's intersection with East State Street.
The intersection is near the Millville Hill crest, making it hard for drivers trying to enter East State Street to see approaching cars.
Widening East State Street to four lanes near Cunningham Road is another aspect of the project.
Interest: Nine construction companies expressed interest in the undertaking but only Kirila and Marucci & amp; Gaffney bid on it, Julian noted.
Only two bids may have been submitted because the job could involve blasting away rock to lower the hill, Julian said.
"It's a little more technical to get into blasting," and that may have scared some contractors away from the job, he explained.
If blasting is necessary, the contractor will notify area businesses and residents beforehand, Julian said.
Any explosive work would involve low charges, he added.

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