YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti gave an update on road work and projects in the county.

He said despite the rising cost of materials and labor shortages, he expects to see about 250 miles of road paved or rebuilt over the next five years.

Nearly two dozen projects are planned this year, many of them using funds generated by a portion of the county sales tax dedicated to road work and construction. This comes in spite of increases in the cost of asphalt, which has nearly doubled over the last several years.

“We were very conservative in our initial estimates and even with the price of asphalt being up. we’re doing two to three times more than we could do in any given year,” Ginnetti said.

Besides the road work, close to $5 million in sanitary sewer projects are planned for 2023 in the county.

An ongoing sewer project is the one being installed on Western Reserve. It stretches from Hitchcock Road in Boardman east to the Five Points Roundabout in Springfield Township.

The work has forced temporary closures along the way as crews move from one area to another, but Ginnetti says contractors have not been slowed down by wintery weather.

“Progress is coming along very well with basically no winter. The weather’s been super cooperative. They’ve been able to get pretty far, so they actually have three crews on the project, right now,” Ginnetti said.

Concerns over one section near the roundabout forced crews to shut down that area to all traffic, but Ginnetti hopes that work will be finished later this month.

Eventually, that stretch of Western Reserve will be rebuilt and widened after the sewer project is completed.