Simultaneous road projects delay traffic - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Simultaneous road projects delay traffic

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BOARDMAN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -

It's taking longer to get where you're going in Mahoning County these days. It is the result of simultaneous road improvement projects

The greatest impact is on major east-west roadways. Crews are currently paving Midlothian Boulevard, reducing traffic to one lane. Work also continues on the roundabout at Mathews and Sheridan Roads, closing the intersection. And ,of course, the biggest project is still snarling traffic on state Route 224 and Interstate 680 in Boardman. The Eastgate Regional Council Of Governments, which works on the financing of road projects, said it all comes down to fiscal timing and a limited construction season.

"Right now, we have a perfect storm," said Kathleen Rodi, Eastgate Transportation Director. "Projects are sold by federal fiscal years, and we are in northeast Ohio.  We only have a short window for construction compared to warmer weather states, so a lot of times when you have that, you're going to have problems," said Rodi.

When possible, project managers will try to reduce the impact on traffic.

"Like holiday time and fair time, anytime a project is going to take more than one construction season" said Rodi.

Even now, preparation work is underway for another project at state Route 224 and state Route 11 in Canfield, which will see an interchange modification to improve traffic flow.

"They are going to add another lane, so you'll have duel lefts, duel rights and a through lane, " said Rodi. "Plus, lanes will also be added at Raccoon Road."

Preparations also are underway for a bridge project and lane improvements that will close Western Reserve Road at I-680 South. Both new projects will cause more temporary traffic headaches.

But Mahoning County Commissioner Dave Ditzler said the end results will be worth it.

"You know on the bright side of it, it is good for the Valley and good for the county for us to see all those improvements" Ditzler said.

The state Route 224 project at I-680 is scheduled to be completed in October. The roundabout on Mathews will be done before the start of the new school year.



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