City to Kick Off Wick Ave. Upgrade Thursday

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city will break ground Thursday morning on the long-anticipated upgrade of Wick Avenue.

The $5 million-plus Wick Avenue Improvement Project will run along the roadway from Rayen Avenue to the south to the Route 422 service road to the north. As part of the project, utility lines will be moved underground, sanitary sewer and water lines will be replaced, and new streetlights, curbs and sidewalks will be installed. The number of lanes on Wick will be reduced from four to three.

Work began in August on an upgrade to Lincoln Avenue, which intersects with Wick.

The project involved “a lot of cooperation and collaboration” among the city, Youngstown State University, Youngstown CityScape and its engineering firm, CT Consultants, and the various constituents along the Wick Avenue corridor, Mayor John McNally said.

“We’re very happy to be beginning the work,” he remarked. “The entire project will take about a year to finish but we believe that work, barring blizzards, will continue even through the winter months.”

The contract for the project was awarded in July to Marucci & Gaffney Excavating Inc., Youngstown.

The ceremony kicking off the yearlong project will take place on the Wick Avenue lawn at the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County’s Main Library, one of several organizations along the downtown corridor that will be affected by the project.

Other institutions located along the corridor that will be affected include the Arms Family Museum and the Butler Institute of American Art.

“The goal is to maintain local traffic throughout the entire project,” Michael McGiffin, director, events and special projects, for the city, said.

Contractors will be required to maintain access to institutions along Wick throughout the project, so motorists who need entry or egress at sites along the corridor will have it, while travelers otherwise using the corridor will have to use a detour.

“If you need to get to the Arms Museum, which only has one point of entry, on Wick Avenue, you’ll be able to get in,” McGiffin said.

The city held a meeting in late August with contractors and community stakeholders, including businesses and institutions along Wick, to brainstorm and come up with solutions, he said.

In addition to having access via Wick, Main Library patrons will be able to access the branch via a “built-in workaround,” an additional entry off Walnut Street, Heidi Daniel, executive director, said.

“Although obviously we know it will be inconvenient for a period of time, we’re looking forward to all of these improvements taking place on Wick Avenue,” Daniel remarked.

The Wick and Lincoln projects, along with several projects on and around the YSU campus, have prompted the library to consider accelerating plans to upgrade Main Library. Daniel said she has started preparing a request for proposals for the renovation.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.