Revitalization plans being discussed for Route 422 - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Revitalization plans being discussed for Route 422

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A major highway connecting Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, and an important component of the area's Shale Boom, is now the focus of a major revitalization plan.

Officials are discussing construction on the three-mile stretch of U.S. Route 422 from Girard to Youngstown.

Vallourec Star is described as the industrial heart of Route 422; their expansion may encourage the surrounding area to do the same.

"When they were talking about doing that expansion is when the discussion started about 'look at all the property around, and it's blight, it need recovered,' and Vallourec can do their part but they're going to need help," says Tom Humphries of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chambers.

After three years, the roadway hasn't made much improvement, however, a $150,000 study is underway to determine how to attract new business, improve the surrounding neighborhoods and make the area look more attractive.

"We need to identify those strategies that can happen in the first year, because it's not enough for us to put together a plan if there's not something happening. So after the plan is complete, you lose a little momentum and people start to wonder what happened," says Scott Page of Philadelphia-based business, Interface Studio.

Page will spear-head the study, which he hopes to have drawn up this winter with portions of the project to follow.

"We've asked them to design it this way where we can take pieces of the project and manage that and implement it. So it's not trying to eat the elephants, it's really 'how do we take bites of this plan once it's done' so that we make sure that, at the end of the day, we do eat the elephant, but bite by bite," says Humphries.

Public meetings are planned as part of the project.

 

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