The goal is to do the sewer and intersection improvement jobs at the same time.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
PETERSBURG -- Residents in this Springfield Township community who've waited for years for a municipal sewer system will have to wait just a little longer.
State and Mahoning County officials are trying to mesh schedules so that construction of the sewer system will coincide with a proposed upgrade of the intersection of state Routes 170 and 617 in Petersburg.
"We just want to keep the inconvenience to the to a minimum," said ODOT spokeswoman Jennifer Richmond.
The county intends to build a sewage collection system to serve some 250 homes in Petersburg, and a pump station that will move the sewage to a treatment plant in New Middletown.
The project's estimated cost is $2.3 million.
The county health department declared portions of the Petersburg area a health nuisance last year because of water pollution from leaking septic systems.
Sanitary Engineer Joseph Warino said the project is ready to be bid, but he's holding off at ODOT's request.
Richmond said the intersection of 170 and 617 currently has asphalt over an aging brick surface.
"Anybody who travels that intersections knows what a maintenance headache it is," she said.
The state plans to replace the bricks and asphalt with a concrete roadway. It also will improve the turning radius at the northwest corner, making the junction more easily negotiable for large trucks, Richmond said.
She was not sure when construction on the intersection upgrade will begin, but said the state is going forward with the design process regardless of whether the county delays construction of the sewer project.
"We really just don't want to have the area dug up for one project and then come back later and dig it up again for the other project," Richmond said. "We'd like to get it all done at the same time if we can."
Warino said he's willing to hold off a while, but doesn't want to wait if it's going to take six months or longer to get on board with the state.
"It's been four years in the planning already," Warino said. "We'd like to get this thing done for those people out there."
He said the project was first proposed and designed in the late 1970s and would have been paid for through property tax assessments.
But when some of the assessment amounts exceeded the value of the affected properties, residents balked and went to court to stop the project. Township trustees came back to the county in 2000 and asked it to revisit the feasibility of a sewer project in Petersburg.
Warino said the original project cost in 1978 was estimated at less than $200,000.
Once the Petersburg project is completed, Warino said planning will begin to tie New Springfield into that sewage system.