YOUNGSTOWN City takes steps to reopen street

Noticeable construction on reopening Federal Street to vehicle traffic should start in the spring.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The city expects to award construction contracts in November and start work underground to reopen downtown's main drag.
That's not too far off from the city's previous time line to reopen Federal Street to vehicle traffic, said Carmen Conglose Jr., deputy director of public works.
The time line earlier this year had work starting in late September or early October. The month or so delay since the spring is because more detailed design and engineering work was needed, Conglose said.
Raised the cost
The added work also raised the original project cost from $2.08 million to $2.83 million. The federal government is covering the increase, he said. The city's share is $478,000.
Conglose will approach city council soon about funding the city's portion. The city has about $75,000 set aside now. Among the options are seeking a state Issue 2 grant, borrowing the cash, or using some of the city's federal money, he said.
The city's board of control took steps last week to bid, award and administer the Federal Street construction work.
Final plans should be done in October and contracts awarded in November, Conglose said. Underground work, such as moving utility lines, can be done during the winter. Noticeable construction, primarily tearing up the pedestrian plaza, should happen in the spring, he said.
The first phase should take about six months. That work includes restoring the street from Phelps Street through a new four-way intersection with traffic signals where Market Street and Wick Avenue meet and now cross Federal.
The second phase restores the street from the intersection to Walnut Street.
Handicap parking spaces near main downtown buildings, such as banks, have been included in the final design, Conglose said. That was a top suggestion in April from downtown businesses.

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