The City of Youngstown is working to improve economic development and also strengthen the East Side connection. That's the goal behind the Crab Creek Corridor Improvement Plan which continues to see progress in the planning stages.

The City of Youngstown continues to work out its plans for strengthening the Crab Creek Corridor on the city's east side.

The city says the Economic Development Administration study's objective was to unlock the potential of the corridor for the benefit of the city and its neighborhoods.

"The city's initiatives include site readiness which includes potential site assembly," explained Hunter Morrison, Planning Consultant with the City of Youngstown. "Plus, brownfields and remediation. We're already working on several of these sites that we've identified."

Crab Creek Corridor is one of Youngstown's oldest industrial districts and is faced with significant economic challenges.

During Tuesday's presentation at East Library, presenters spoke on concerns about the declining population and abandoned properties that are infiltrating the corridor with blight.

The city is aiming to improve infrastructure and roadways and even refurbish Crab Creek's tributaries. There are some environmental and ownership concerns before development even begins.

"This is an ongoing dialogue with the community because the city can start acting immediately to understand what the needs of residents on the East Side," explained Samantha Yannucci, Planning Consultant with the City of Youngstown.

The core redevelopment areas include Logan, Andrew's, Northern Gateway, the Green Industrial Core, and the Southern Gateway.

Some plans discussed Tuesday involved removing the vertical jump at Hubbard Road's at-grade crossing along with improving the convergence of the curve on Hubbard Road. Planning consultants recommended directing trucks to different routes than residential traffic.

Long-range opportunities include creating a greenway spine that runs along Crab Creek, also adding daylight drainage infrastructure, and creating connections to community entities. 

"There's also a whole quality of life component that needs to be considered," Yannucci added. "We need to understand resident's needs in terms of transportation, and services and try to mend that connection between the East Side and Greater Youngstown."

The improvements would be paid for by a series of grants from the State the city has yet to obtain. Upgrades to the corridor could add up to 43k jobs in 10 years.

"All of those funding sources, they look to the city and say, 'Do you have a plan?' So, by putting this in place, we say, 'Yes, here's our plan and you can help carry that plan out," Morrison explained.

Potential developers were also present at Tuesday's meeting. The EDA study should be completed in the spring of 2024.

You can visit the city's website to give your own opinion on what improvements you want to see.