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City considers $3.2M downtown street improvement project

YOUNGSTOWN — The city is planning another downtown street improvement project that could cost as much as $3.2 million with efforts to get half of the cost covered by grants.

The project, which would happen in 2023, is to Walnut Street from Front to Commerce streets, and to Boardman Street from Walnut to Market streets.

It would include reducing the number of lanes, road paving, streetscape work, lighting upgrades and adding green space, said Charles Shasho, the city’s deputy director of public works.

The plan also includes a stairway on Walnut Street from Commerce to Wood streets on what is now a “steep hill that is blocked off” with some concrete barriers, near a YMCA parking lot, that would connect downtown with the Choffin Career & Technical Center, Shasho said.

The city administration is seeking council’s approval at its Wednesday meeting to allow the board of control to apply for a $300,000 federal grant for the project.

The city also plans to seek a $1.3 million Ohio Public Works Commission grant for the work, Shasho said.

The project will occur even without the grants, but Shasho said the city “will scale it back.” The stairway would likely be the first item to go if the city can’t get the grant money, he said.

Read more in Sunday’s Vindicator.

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