City Awards Contract for South Ave. Rehab Work

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The resurfacing of a large portion of South Avenue – long a source of frustration for motorists along the corridor — should commence in a few weeks, city officials said Tuesday.

The Board of Control approved a contract worth $829,240.99 with Butch & McCree Paving Inc. of Hillsville, Pa., for the work. The company was the lowest of seven bidders for the project.

The engineer’s estimate for the work was $1.2 million, said Charles T. Shasho, deputy director of public works. Of the total project cost, 80% will be paid for using Federal Highway Administration funds and the balance paid by the Ohio Public Works Commission. No local match was required.

“The [South Avenue] project wasn’t supposed to be done until 2018. We requested that it be moved up because it was in such bad condition,” Shasho said.

City residents and motorists driving downtown for recreation or work have complained about South Avenue’s condition, “as recently as last night during the fireworks display,” Mayor John McNally affirmed.

The mill-and-fill project will run from Williamson Avenue to Midlothian Boulevard, he said. The two inches of asphalt to be removed will be replaced with 1¼ inches of Kevlar-reinforced asphalt mix, which helps arrest cracks, topped with ¾ of an inch of fine grade polymer.

Repaving South Avenue is “a key part” of the corridor’s successful transformation, remarked B.J. Duckworth, account manager with Coca-Cola Refreshments. Coca Cola, which operates off South Avenue on East Indianola Avenue, is a member of the South Avenue Merchants Association and the South Avenue Area Neighborhood Development Initiative.

“The key aspects of bringing business to the area are safety and infrastructure,” Duckworth said. The Youngstown Police Department is working “diligently” to improve the safety aspect and the paving work will be a “big visual sign to the Mahoning Valley that South Avenue is again open for vehicle traffic,” he continued.

A stretch of South between Indianola and Williamson avenues was last resurfaced in 2001, Shasho said. He was unsure when the rest of the road was resurfaced.

The upcoming resurfacing work, which will take three months to complete, comes as Dominion finishes replacing its gas line along the corridor. “We’re happy they did that now instead of a month from now,” Shasho said.

The resurfacing project is among several efforts McNally said are underway to improve South Avenue, one of the city’s major gateway corridors. These efforts include recent and upcoming demolitions of residential and commercial structures, Green Youngstown’s program for eight vacant lots funded by a $75,000 appropriation from City Council, and the Taft Promise Neighborhood Initiative.

Investments by businesses along the corridor include the renovation of the True North gas station on the corner of Midlothian Boulevard and South Avenue, Duckworth said. In addition, Coca-Cola added a new visitors entrance and fencing, along with “other internal work,” he said.

“Hopefully these investments along with several others from businesses along South Avenue combined with street paving will be a springboard for other businesses and residents to do the same.”

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.