The road should be reopened in about two weeks.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A yearlong headache for motorists is about to be cured.
More than a year after it started, construction on a heavily traveled Boardman Township road should soon be completed, said Mahoning County Engineer Richard Marsico.
He said crews are winding down upgrades to Western Reserve Road. The county is improving a two-mile stretch of the road between Tippecanoe and Hitchcock roads. The project began in September 2003.
"If the weather holds up, it should be ready to go in about two weeks," Marsico said. "It won't be 100 percent complete, but it will be open to traffic."
He said the project is about a week behind schedule, mostly because of weather.
The project includes widening the driving lanes from 9 feet to 12 feet, with 3-foot-wide shoulders on each side of the road.
Turning lanes and new traffic signals have been added at Hitchcock and Tippecanoe, and eliminated a hill to improve drivers' sight distance at Western Reserve and New Buffalo Road. That intersection also was widened and upgraded as part of the project.
A bridge on Western Reserve, just west of the Ohio Turnpike overpass, was replaced last year.
The overall project cost is $3.26 million.
Much of Western Reserve Road has been closed to through-traffic during construction, except for a brief period during which it was opened temporarily to relieve traffic congestion during the Canfield Fair.
"I know it's been a headache for people who live out there or who use that road," Marsico said. "We're almost done."
He said workers from general contractor A.P. O'Horo Construction of Youngstown are getting ready to lay the final course of asphalt on the road. Once that is done, the road should be ready to open.
Crews still will stay on the job to put finishing touches to the project, like laying asphalt aprons to driveways along the road, Marsico said.
He said the project has been scheduled all along to be finished in mid-November. Rainy weather during the summer and fall caused some delays, and he said the contractor has had difficulty finding enough laborers to work on some days.
"The union halls have told us that with so much construction going on in the area right now, sometimes they just didn't have very many people to send out there," Marsico said.