Smart2 Network Project to Break Ground June 23

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city of Youngstown will break ground June 23 on the first phase of a planned $30 million investment in downtown roadway infrastructure improvements.  

The Smart2 – Strategic & Sustainable, Medical & Manufacturing, Academic & Arts, Residential & Recreational, Technology & Training – Network project will involve infrastructure and aesthetic upgrades to Fifth Avenue, upgrades to adjacent downtown streets and the implementation of an autonomous shuttle service. 

The groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at Youngstown State University on Armed Forces Boulevard.

Funding for the project is being provided in part by a $10.85 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant awarded in 2018. The money is from the department’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or Build, grant program. Partners including Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Youngstown State University, Western Reserve Transit Authority and Mercy Health-Youngstown allocated funds or provided in-kind matches for the grant. 

For the first phase of the project, the number of lanes on Fifth will be reduced to one in each direction from West Federal Street to the Madison Avenue Expressway plus a left turn lane. The phase also will include green infrastructure, adding medians, installing enhanced pedestrian crosswalks and upgrading traffic signals.  

Pictured: A rendering of the upgrades made to Fifth Avenue as part of the Smart2 Network.

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