YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — This summer’s construction season will be one of the busiest ever in Mahoning County.
Thanks to agreements with private companies and grants, more than 40 miles of county roads will be paved this year. Normally, the county engineer oversees paving of about 10 miles of road.
Commissioners said that is good news for motorists.
“Mahoning County is experiencing so much construction this year. There are a lot of projects going on, so we just ask everyone to be as patient as you can and drive very slow through those construction zones. At the end of the day, it is an improvement in our community and our roads will be a lot better than what they were,” said Mahoning County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti.
He said the projects include eradicating potholes and resurfacing streets.
Mahoning County Engineer Patrick Ginnetti said his office normally does not oversee this much work in one year.
“With what we are able to do through Ohio Public Works Commission and our local funding, traditionally the counties would get about 10 miles per year paved. We are going to be able to quadruple that, if not more without even factoring in what we normally do. Then when you add in ours on top of it, we are going to get four to eight years worth of work done this year,” Ginnetti said.
Ohio Edison is in the middle of two major projects: Replacing old transmission lines in the western part of the county, and a project to make way for the new Cryogenic Natural Gas facility in Springfield.
“They are covering a big span, about 20 miles of roads in the county, and they have agreed obviously to repair anything they damage. And they have been cooperating,” Ginnetti said.
Commissioners said nearly 75 percent of the work is being done without spending local tax dollars.
“First Energy, Hilcorp, Sunoco and we are able to do these types of projects because they are donating the money to Mahoning County. So the taxpayers should be very grateful it is not coming out of our coffers,” Traficanti said.
Construction already has started on some of the county projects.
The county also got state funding to repair a large sinkhole on New Road in Austintown. The state will pay about $75,000 of that project.