Intersection getting $1.8M in upgrades

Published: Fri, October 12, 2018 @ 12:00 a.m.



Mahoning County commissioners signed off on about $1.8 million in ODOT improvements to the intersection of state Route 46 and Mahoning Avenue in Austintown.

Those improvements include the addition of an eastbound right-turn lane along Mahoning and a northbound-through lane along Route 46 and related curb and safety upgrades, said Brett Kovacs, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Mahoning Avenue west of Route 46 also would see a speed-limit reduction, but the new speed limit was unavailable at Thursday’s commissioners meeting. The current speed limit is 35 mph up to Wilcox Avenue, where it rises to 45 mph. Austintown Administrator Michael Dockry said that speed limit was reduced to 45 mph just within the last few months.

Kovacs said work is expected to begin next year.

Commissioners also approved a five-day suspension for a county Department of Job and Family Services employee. Director Robert Bush declined to name the employee and did not specify what conduct prompted the suspension, but he said hearings took place on the measure.

Commissioners also advertised for bids for a second phase of renovations and upkeep at the 1910-built county courthouse that would target removal of bird droppings and installation of a humane bird-deterrent system, along with cleaning and repair of parts of the building’s granite and aging terra cotta exterior.

James Fortunato, purchasing department director, said the total project is expected to cost about $500,000. The first phase of courthouse renovations – a nearly $7 million project – began in 2008.

Bids for the new work are set to be opened Dec. 12. Work is expected to get underway in spring, he said.

“By summer time, hopefully we’ll have the courthouse back to how it was when it was originally built,” Fortunato said.

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