Part of improving Youngstown's infrastructure includes a beautification plan of downtown and the main road arteries, which has been a major goal in recent years.

One of those main arteries, State Route 193, a roadway leading right into the city and YSU, has been an eyesore for some time.

As it turns out, a major shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame for work that's two years late. 

Drivers might notice scrapes and an unfinished paint job on the concrete, which was was originally supposed to be fixed in summer of 2022. 

ODOT started a project to repair, re-paint and seal the concrete.

The repairs were finished, however, the paint job wasn't.

ODOT said a material shortage from the pandemic resulted in a contract revision of the multi-million dollar project, putting the $93,000  cost of the step to paint and seal to the side.

"There was a nationwide shortage at that time of the paint in the sealant," ODOT Direct 4 PIO Ray Marsch said, "What we decided to do was rework the contract with the contractor and we determined that we were going to include the rest of the bridge painting to happen at a later date."

Marsch said the rest of the repair work the contractor was paid to do of the initial $5.1-million dollar project was finished and inspected.

"With any ODOT project, we have inspectors that are on site every single day to review almost every aspect of the project," he said, "Everything is structurally sound safe. It's just it's just more kind of cosmetic that we're going to be doing here in the near future."

ODOT said plans aren't yet set for that paintwork to be done.