YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – East Federal Street is still closed off, which impacts traffic flowing through the city. But there’s some good news that should improve traffic conditions.
Deputy director of public works Charles Shasho says Front Street should be open to traffic by Halloween.
“Once Front Street is opened up, things will be a lot easier. People will be able to get all the way through downtown and then just be able to pick and chose their north/south directions from Front Street,” says Shasho.
Commerce Street is still looking rough, but they hope to get some asphalt down in November, according to Shasho.
“If we don’t, we will maintain it throughout the winter so that we can get this project wrapped up by this time next year,” says Shasho.
Over the next three days, there will be a crane on Commerce Street, next to the YMCA. The road will still be open with one-lane traffic.
The construction has also created issues with parking for workers and people who need to drive downtown.
“When you got to park like, two, three, four blocks away trying to get down here. And you got to go back and forth picking up your loads and everything. It’s a pain,” says Michael Burk, a Gordon Food Services deliveryman.
“There’s barely any spots. Plus, you got the meters, and sometimes the meters don’t even work while they’re doing construction,” says Savana Cline of Youngstown.
“Why would you take parking away from a street when — really — parking’s a commodity in a downtown area, because it is very limited,” says Anne Massullo-Sabella, owner of Avalon Pizzeria.
Massullo-Sabella says she is upset with the lack of communication from the city.
“It’s very frustrating, operating a business under today’s economy to begin with. And let alone lack of cooperation with the city government,” says Massullo-Sabella
She says losing customers due to poor construction planning takes a toll on employees too.
According to Shasho, no construction is scheduled for West Federal Street for the next 30 days.
A public meeting with more updates is scheduled for Oct. 19