County Gets $2.4M for Mahoning Avenue Upgrades

NORTH JACKSON, Ohio – Proponents of a multimillion-dollar roadway improvement project in North Jackson say the upgrades will improve traffic flow on Mahoning Avenue and enhance prospects for properties along the corridor.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced Thursday that it had awarded a $2.4 million grant to support the Mahoning Avenue Industrial Corridor Upgrade project. The grant will be matched by $3 million in local funds, according to the Commerce Department release.

The project will involve improvements for a 2-mile stretch of Mahoning Avenue from state Route 45 to Duck Creek Road and a portion of Rosemont Road from Mahoning to Blott Road, Mahoning County Engineer Patrick Ginnetti said Thursday after the announcement of the Economic Development Administration grant.

The upgrades are expected to create or retain more than 140 jobs and generate $5 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden is committed to supporting communities across the country as they work to grow their local economies,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said. “This EDA investment will provide the infrastructure to facilitate a safe and efficient transportation system to serve the region’s manufacturing and energy sectors.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support Mahoning County as they work to improve vital roadway infrastructure for the region,” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo added. “This project will enhance the primary commercial and industrial zone in Mahoning County to spur business and job growth.”

The improvements will facilitate traffic at the Mahoning Avenue-Bailey Road intersection, which has seen significant growth in recent years, Jackson Township Trustee Tom Frost said.

“It will also aid the businesses on Rosemont Road that are dealing with a substandard road right now,” he continued. Additionally, he expects it to improve rush hour traffic and make properties along the corridor more attractive for development.

The multiyear project will involve paving, road reconstruction and bridge and intersection work, Ginnetti said. He hopes work will begin this year on the Mahoning Avenue-Bailey Road intersection, which will be upgraded as part of a separate project not included in the EDA grant announced Thursday.  

“This grant is probably going to take a few years, just because of not only the magnitude of it but some of the different components, because there’s going to be pretty extensive design work that needs to be done in the sections that are being rebuilt,” he said. “We do have a bridge as part of this. We’ve got some areas that are being repaved and, hopefully, some geometric realignment of the intersections as well.”

The county will seek state grants and other local grants to minimize the amount of county funds that need to be applied to the match, Ginnetti said.

“Ohio communities face a heavy burden when they have to pay to upgrade local infrastructure,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said in the grant announcement release. “Thanks to this investment, Mahoning County will be able to repair critical roadways while creating jobs and attracting new investment.”

Eastgate Regional Council of Governments worked with the county engineer’s office on the development of this grant application.

“Recognizing the importance of the Mahoning Avenue Industrial Corridor to the economic expansion and future development of North Jackson as well as the surrounding region, this project represents an opportunity to attract new jobs and significant private investment by current and prospective employers,” Jim Kinnick, Eastgate’s executive director, said.

In addition to efforts of the engineer’s office and the Eastgate staff, Kinnick also recognized the contributions of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and the support of EDA’s regional office in Chicago.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.