By Elise Franco
A collaborative project among the township, school district and Mahoning County Engineer’s office will allow for smoother traffic flow on the Austintown Fitch campus.
The project, under way on Idaho Road near Frank Ohl Intermediate and Watson Elementary schools, will fill a gap in Idaho Road just north of New Road and install a traffic light where the roads intersect.
The work is scheduled for completion by year’s end and will allow through traffic on Idaho Road and facilitate school bus access to the main Austintown schools complex, said Mike Dockry, township administrator.
Dockry said the project is $750,000 and paid for through several entities — $400,000 from the school district, a $150,000 Ohio Public Works grant, $100,000 from the Mahoning County Ohio Community Development Block Grant fund, $50,000 from the county engineer’s office and $50,000 from Austintown Township.
Dockry said opening up the section of Idaho was done at the recommendation of the county engineer’s office. Township crews are completing the work.
He said the work consists of removing trees, grading the existing road and raising it, then installing curbs, sidewalks and a catch basin.
Dockry said the section of road was never completed previously because, “there wasn’t the need for it, and the road wasn’t improved to county standard by the developer.”
Superintendent Vince Colaluca said the district’s share was paid for using money allotted through the bond issue for the new schools project.
“We used dollars that are part of the project to help impact the traffic flow,” he said. “We felt after looking at our traffic study, it will help alleviate traffic” when parents and buses are picking up and dropping off students.
Colaluca said opening up Idaho Road will make the route more efficient and safe.
“It’s also seen as a huge benefit for the police and fire departments because they’ll access through that road,” he said.