BOARDMAN (WYTV) – Construction on the U.S. Route 224 bridge over state Route 11 in Canfield is set to begin later this month and officials from the Ohio Department of Transportation want to make sure businesses in the area are kept apprised of the project.
On Tuesday, ODOT officials spent the day passing out fliers and talking with more than 200 businesses on both sides of the bridge. The $6.5 million project will replace and widen the U.S. Route 224 bridge over Route 11 and also will include the widening of Raccoon Road and the widening of the Route 11 southbound ramp to U.S. 224.
The Canfield project is expected to finish in two parts, with the road work complete by the end of August and bridge work in October.
The fliers outline the project and show what it will look like when it is done, according to ODOT public information officer Justin Chesnic. The fliers also contain contact information for ODOT and lists all the road closures and lane restrictions. Chesnic said no roads will close completely during the project.
ODOT officials also answered questions and addressed concerns, including ones from Diane Laudo, co-owner of the Curiosity Shop.
“Our customers come from all avenues. From the south, they come from the north, they come from the east and the west. My major concern is their ability to get through the construction site to come here,” Laudo said.
For more than a year, businesses in the Boardman and Poland areas dealt with a similar issue, with construction at U.S. 224 and Interstate 680.
“Some people just are not going to come regardless, no matter what you do. And you are going to rely on your best customers who are going to remain loyal during this process,” said Kelly Wolford of Inner Circle Pizza in Poland.
But, Wolford said business did pick up again after construction stopped.
As far as the impact of the construction on the Canfield Fair, ODOT will advise drivers to avoid crossing the bridge. Fair-goers driving in from Boardman will take Raccoon Road and fair-goers driving in from Canfield or off state Route 11 will take Fairgrounds Boulevard.
Click the images below to see diagrams of the proposed project: