Youngstown to have a May 23 public meeting to discuss permanently closing a section of North Phelps Street

N. Phelps may permanently close

By David Skolnick


The city is having a May 23 public meeting to discuss permanently closing a downtown street to vehicular traffic and turning it into a pedestrian entertainment area.

The street being considered is North Phelps Street from West Federal to West Commerce streets, which has been closed since January for a $943,000 project for the installation of an AT&T duct bank containing telephone conduits and the rerouting of telephone lines, including about 20,000 splices.

The city still needs to replace a 24-inch sanitary-sewer line on that street. The sewer line is one of the oldest in the city.

In addition to replacing the sewer line, the work includes new gas and waterlines, new sidewalks, streetlights and other streetscape improvement.

The project is planned for construction in spring 2019.

The city has discussed for a few years closing that section of North Phelps Street permanently to vehicles and making it a pedestrian mall.

Ed Moses, co-owner of V2 Wine Bar Trattoria, on the corner of Phelps and Federal, said of the proposal: “I think it’s a great idea. People would be able to sit out there or walk around and have a cocktail. It would be exciting for the city. I’m in favor of it. Close it down and allow people to walk there.”

City officials will talk about the proposal and get public input at a 5 p.m. May 23 meeting at the Covelli Centre’s YSU Community Room.

Also, questions and comments concerning the proposal may be submitted in writing no later than June 14 to Charles Shasho, deputy director of public works, 26 S. Phelps St., Youngstown, OH 44503 or by email at

The sewer project was to occur five years ago, but it came to a stop after only a month of work when it was discovered that underground utilities, primarily AT&T lines and three duct banks, were directly in the path of the line.

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