Group looking to revitalize bridges, construct walkways

Bridges to be turned in to walkways in Youngstown.
Bridges to be turned in to walkways in Youngstown.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A community organization is coming up with ideas on how to preserve pieces of Youngstown’s history.

The Mahoning Commons Association is looking towards the future for two crumbling overpasses that are nearly 100 years old.

Bill Lawson, executive director of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, said one option would be to construct a public walkway so people could get above street level and take in the scenes around the Mahoning Commons and Mahoning River.

One of the older railroad trestles slated for preservation spans Mahoning Avenue. The other goes over West Avenue. Both are in need of repairs but serve as reminders of a once booming steel industry.

“I think it is important to preserve it in the fact that it can become something else,” said Keith Kaiser, president of the Mahoning Commons Association. “It can be reused as something else, and what that is will take all of our imaginations to figure out.”

No official plans have been made. Ideas are still being considered, but Kaiser says if they do follow through, it will take a lot of people and partnerships to pull it off.

“I think we need to be proud of our heritage. I think we need to look at landmark structures like this for possible reuse because it adds to the character and quality of life and the community, and that is what this is all about,” said Lawson.

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