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Downtown project starts Monday

YOUNGSTOWN — A project to replace a sanitary sewer line and build a pedestrian mall on a section of a downtown street starts Monday.

The project will result in the permanent closure of North Phelps Street between West Federal and West Commerce streets.

Also, West Commerce Street between Hazel and Wick avenues will be closed to vehicular traffic for six months while the work is occurring.

The city awarded a $1,343,060 contract for the project to Marucci and Gaffney Excavating of Youngstown, which submitted the lowest of three proposals. The city’s estimate for the work was $1.8 million.

The project should be finished in August.

While the project is ongoing, pedestrian access to businesses on the west side of Phelps Street will be maintained.

The work includes the reconstruction of a 24-inch sewer line and an 8-inch waterline as well as the development of a pedestrian walkway.

The water and sewer work will be done first. It could take additional time because a section near West Federal Street isn’t easily accessible so a tunnel to get to the lines may have to be dug by hand.

The sewer work was supposed to have been done six years ago, but came to a halt after a month because of previously unknown underground utilities that were in the path of the sewer line. That issue has since been resolved.

The pedestrian mall includes raising the street to be level with the sidewalk, and adding decorative lampposts and a gateway arch on the West Commerce Street side. Similar street improvements will be made to a small section of Phelps, north of West Commerce by Erie Terminal Place.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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