YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There is construction everywhere right now – but a three block stretch of Phelps Street in downtown Youngstown is torn up.
The construction runs from Federal Street to the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre, with streets and sidewalks torn up and road closed signs at each intersection.
“Focusing on ped safety, enhanced lighting, widening the sidewalks – the whole concept of this is to improve the flow and create a nice pedestrian corridor from YSU all the way to the youngstown foundation Amphitheatre,” said Youngstown’s director of public works Chuck Shasho.
The design will look almost like a copy of the current pedestrian walk between Commerce and Federal – the only difference will be that traffic will be able to drive through.
“This is part of the SMART2 project, so the whole point of that is just the general revitalization and facelift of downtown,” Shasho said.
The Phelps Street project alone is about $1.2 million. Shasho said it should be finished by winter, which means events downtown and at the amphitheatre this summer will have to work around the orange cones.
“It does look a little intimidating when you come downtown. As soon as everyone gets here, they’re gonna think ‘Oh my gosh, can I park there?’ but our VIP and handicap parking is fully accessible, and everyone can get to it,” said JAC Management marketing director Phoebe Breckenridge.
Breckenridge suggests if you’re walking from downtown to the amphitheatre, head towards the Covelli Centre and take the promenade under the bridge to the entrance.
Once it’s done, the hope is it creates foot traffic between there and businesses downtown.
“People come to eat during concerts, and they walk right down the street so we are looking forward to it. There will be more people down here to help with the business,” said V2 co-owner Ed Moses.