By Elise Franco
A road project 10 years in the making finally will commence after the July 4 holiday.
The widening of Western Reserve Road between Tippecanoe Road and state Route 46 will begin in July and last for about a year, Richard Marsico, Mahoning County engineer, said Friday during a ceremonial groundbreaking.
Deputy engineer Marilyn Kenner said the project has been in the works since 1991 and is an important project to the area.
“Western Reserve [Road] runs throughout the entire length of Mahoning County, and is a major east-to-west route,” she said. “This will make it easier and safer for traffic to go up and down the road.”
Kenner said the long-term intent is to widen the road from Market Street in Boardman to Knauff Road in Canfield.
Marsico said the road, which is 10 feet wide on each side, will be widened to 12 feet on each side and will have 4-foot paved shoulders.
“This road is not that safe because it’s congested, so [the project] is important to traffic flow,” he said. “As more people move into the suburbs, the road traffic becomes heavier, and we need to improve its safety.”
The more than $4 million project is contracted to A.P. O’Horo Co. of Liberty. Eighty percent of the money is coming from federal highway funds, and the rest from local funds.
Kenner said though the road will be accessible throughout the construction, motorists will experience delays and at times, some detours.
“We intend to keep traffic flowing, however the job has various phases that will result in closures,” she said. “We’ll make sure the public is aware of what we’re doing and what the detours are.”
Kenner said the road will remain open to traffic during the Canfield Fair, which runs Aug. 31 through
Sept. 5, but suggests drivers find other routes.
“We’d prefer if people would avoid the area,” she said.
Judge James C. Evans, a member of the Canfield Fair Board, said the board members are happy to hear the road will stay open. He said they initially believed
detours around the area would be necessary.
“Even in rough condition, as I expect it will be, it will help with traffic flow” to and from the fairgrounds, he said.