Fifth Avenue construction could create traffic mess for returning YSU students

Local News

School starts in just a few weeks, but this waterline project isn't supposed to be done until September

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – School starts at Youngstown State just a few weeks from now on August 19 but if you’ve driven on campus recently, you might have noticed a lot of construction is still going on.

“If you’ve been on Fifth Avenue, it’s a mess right now,” said Facilities Associate Vice President John Hyden.

He said, unfortunately, by the start of school, it’ll probably still be a mess.

Hyden said the construction on Fifth Avenue is a waterline project for the City of Youngstown, but the two groups work closely.

“They have until the end of September to be finished with the project. They’re hoping, according to them, to be starting the repaving work up by the stadium and work their way down.”

Hyden said most of the digging is done, but it will be a while before construction is completely finished.

“We’ll have a little bit of a patchwork quilt road surface for the next year.”

Hyden said Fifth Avenue will not be closed, there will just be various lane restrictions and detours.

“It’s going to be important for students and visitors to pay attention to what’s going on.”

YSU’s Director of Planning and Construction, Richard White, said they try to get all projects done during the summer while students are out but sometimes, it’s impossible.

“There’s some projects that just physically can’t be done within that three-, three-and-a-half-month timespan, so those are going to start a little bit earlier. They’re going to run a little bit past.”

“It’s a little bit tight trying to get stuff done but when the students get back here, I think they’ll be happy with what they see. It will be difficult for us to get there, but we’ll get there,” Hyden said.

Surrounding Fifth Avenue, other projects will be finished by the start of school. That includes the popular tailgating parking lot M-70 that now has new lighting and a conduit bank.

Hyden said they were going to repave it, but now they’re waiting until next summer to do that.

“There’s some inconvenience that goes with these improvements but in the end, they’re always worth it.”

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