OLD FURNACE ROAD City asks for public input for repairs

Some residents want the road to be wider; others want traffic to be cut off.
YOUNGSTOWN -- City officials know they must fix Old Furnace Road, and they've asked property owners living around the 4,000-foot street about it.
Old Furnace improvements are due between Bears Den Road and West Drive, at the entrance to Mill Creek Park.
Carmen S. Conglose Jr., deputy director of public works, and council members Carol Rimedio-Righetti, D-4th, and Michael Rapovy, D-5th, met recently with residents to explain options and hear what residents would like. Fifth Ward residents live south of Old Furnace, and residents in the 4th Ward are north of the road.
Conglose said the public works department long has considered Old Furnace a maintenance and safety problem. The road has numerous potholes and is crumbling.
Conglose outlined for the residents acceptable safety standards.
"The public also gives us their input. They know the problems much better than we do because they live there," Conglose said.
City officials passed out questionnaires to the 60 people who attended the meeting, and they have until Feb. 11 to return them to the public works department.
He said the comments at the meeting and the questionnaires will help his department to determine the scope of the improvements and help to plan funding.
Overdo for paving
Conglose said some residents want a cul-de-sac on the east end by West Drive to cut off the street from through traffic.
He said the department would have to look at the safety implications of that move because emergency vehicles may have a difficult time answering calls.
Rimedio-Righetti said residents were concerned the city hasn't paved the road in years.
She said some wanted the road wider and new curbs. The cost of that job is around $2 million, she said.
"Another issue they brought up was the speeding along the road," Rimedio-Righetti said. Many people use Old Furnace because it is one of the fastest ways to get downtown from the suburbs, she said.
"I got calls all through the summer about the speeding," Rimedio-Righetti said.
Rimedio-Righetti said she, Rapovy and Conglose will meet again in the next few weeks after the questionnaires are received to discuss "what would be the best way to go."

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