Projects in Campbell, Lowellville and Struthers among those chosen for OPWC funding
By EMMALEE C. TORISK
Two of the city’s major street-resurfacing projects scheduled for next year are now fully funded, thanks to recently awarded grants from the Ohio Public Works Commission.
Though the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation Program had previously committed to funding 80 percent of the repaving of Warhurst Road from Tenney Avenue to Struthers-Liberty Road and of Robinson Road from Wilson Avenue to state Route 616, the city was left to fund the remaining 20 percent.
The city’s 20 percent share amounted to $150,221 for the Warhurst Road project and $122,756 for the Robinson Road project, said Michael Evanson, the city’s finance director, who added that work should begin in the spring. These costs will be covered by a $273,000 OPWC grant; the total cost of the two street-resurfacing projects is approximately $1,365,000.
The city applied for the grant through the District 6 Public Works Integrating Committee, which works through Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.
Among the other projects selected for OPWC funding are the second phase of the Ralph Conti Way Safety Upgrade Project in Lowellville, and the Judith Lane/Spring Street Stream Restoration Project in Struthers.
Lowellville Mayor James Iudiciani Sr. said the $73,899 grant will fund road widening from the baseball fields along Ralph Conti Way to state Route 289. The project’s first phase — much like the second, and final, phase — included the widening of a very narrow roadway, as well as the installation of guardrails.
Almost 1,200 cars drive on that road each day, Iudiciani said, adding that the narrowness of the roadway, which is near the Lowellville K-12 School, poses a safety issue.
The local share for the second phase of the Ralph Conti Way Safety Upgrade Project is $33,201. Work will begin in the spring and shouldn’t take much more than three or four weeks to complete, Iudiciani said.
In Struthers, too, the Judith Lane/Spring Street Stream Restoration Project, which also should start in the spring, will wrap up a years-long effort to address erosion problems caused by the creek that runs from Youngstown-Poland Road, said Struthers Mayor Terry Stocker.
In 2009, the city installed new piping, water-quality detention ponds and a box culvert in the area. It also widened the creek, which both cleaned the water and slowed its impact, preventing flooding downstream.
A lack of funding, however, prevented the city from extending this work to Eighth Street — which many residents have since complained about, Stocker said.
With the $57,270 grant, and the city’s match of $25,730, the project finally will restore those backyards. Stocker compared this last stage of the project to “a piece of the puzzle that was missing.”
“We promised people we would resolve this issue, and it was a matter of waiting our turn,” Stocker said. “With additional flows, the creek keeps eating away [at the backyards]. We want to do everything we can to preserve property values on those roads.”