South Avenue bridge work to require 3-mile-long detour

YOUNGSTOWN — A small bridge project next year could mean a big headache for motorists on South Avenue, one of Youngstown’s main corridors.

The city will rehabilitate the South Avenue Bridge that goes over the Youngstown and Southeastern Railroad Co. train line starting in the summer of 2025 and finishing later that year. The bridge is just south of the Peace Officers Memorial Bridge that crosses the Mahoning River.

The estimated cost of the four-lane bridge work is $1.16 million with funding coming from the Ohio Department of Transportation, said Charles Shasho, the city’s deputy director of public works.

During construction, the section of South Avenue near the bridge will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians with detours.

The vehicular detour will be 3 miles long and use Williamson Avenue, Market Street and Indianola Avenue. The pedestrian detour will be 0.7 of a mile long and use Williamson Avenue, Gibson Street and Dorothy Avenue.

Access will be maintained to all adjacent properties, residences, businesses and intersecting side streets. That includes the old South Side Park, which is not open to the public, and the South Side Veterans Memorial.

The work includes rehabilitating the bridge’s substructure, refacing the abutments, replacing the approach slabs, which connect the road pavement and the bridge, as well as the guardrails, sidewalks, bridge railings, curbs and pavement markings.

The bridge was constructed in 1957 and had major rehabilitation work done to it in 1990. It underwent further improvement work in 2015.

The bridge is listed as “poor” and “structurally deficient” by the Federal Highway Administration.

The FHA’s National Bridge Inventory report states the structure is “intolerable requiring high priority of corrective action” while the substructure has a loss of a section or deterioration.

The report added about the substructure, “Local failures are possible. Fatigue cracks in steel or shear cracks in concrete may be present.”

Also, the bridge railings and guardrail do “not meet current acceptable standards or a safety feature is required and none is provided,” according to the report.

About 9,100 vehicles use the bridge daily.

Of Ohio’s 29,960 bridges, 4.6% are classified as structurally deficient.

Have an interesting story? Contact David Skolnick by email at dskolnick@vindy.com. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @dskolnick.


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