East Liverpool Historical Society

This Article originally appeared in the East Liverpool Review, Wednesday, November 2, 1955. Our thanks to The Review for permission to post this here.

This is a new part to the series Visiting Second Street and Third Street, The Beginning of ElO, Second & Third Streets & The End of Second & Third Streets

$9 Million Freeway Proposed For City

A plan for a $9 million freeway to speed traffic through East Liverpool from the Ohio - Pennsylvania line to Route 30 in California Hollow - bypassing the downtown business area - was revealed to city government and civic leaders today as the major recommendation in an arterial highway survey.

The plan was disclosed at a noon luncheon at the Travelers Hotel arranged by Mayor E. Allan McKeever to present the report on the $15,000 survey under way since February. The 77-page report, including a series of maps and estimates, was presented by Michael Baker Jr. of Rochester, a consulting engineering firm.

The new highway would start in California Hollow at the Sparkle Market site, entering East Liverpool along the present course of Carpenters Run. The little stream would be relocated east of its natural bed - between the new highway and the present Routes 7 and 30 - Dresden Ave.

The four - lane highway would overpass W. 9th St and the super road stretch of W. 8th St., with interchanges for traffic to move from one highway to the other.

It also would overpass the Horn Switch tracks of the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. and then swing in a wide arc along the hillside west of the City Hospital parking lot. It would go under the last span of the Newell Bridge, which would have to be reconstructed to provide adequate clearance.

The freeway would continue southeast close to the river front, intersecting Jackson and Market Sts. and Broadway.

At Broadway, the east and west-bound lanes would separate. The westbound lane would climb to intersect with the Chester Bridge. On and off ramps would connect the new highway with the bridge.

The westbound lanes would continue climbing from the Chester Bridge, intersecting the "Hill Rd." at Pennsylvania Ave, and E. 4th St. From that point, the present two lanes of the "Hill Rd." would be used for westbound traffic.

The eastbound lanes from the bridge would continue at a lower level, roughly parallel to and above the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. tracks, gradually climbing to join with westbound lanes a little over a mile east of the Chester Bridge.

Where the four lanes of the new highway merge on the "Hill Rd.," a scissor type intersection would be formed , providing on and off movement for the eastbound traffic only.

From this point, the new road would run roughly parallel and 200 feet north of the present Pennsylvania Ave. -- along the hillside north of what now is the main thoroughfare. At Boyce St. and Park Way, there would be an overpass and an interchange to exchange traffic between Boyce St, the new highway and the existing Pennsylvania Ave.

From Boyce St, the freeway would continue along the hillside above Pennsylvania Ave. and roughly paralleling the present route, overpassing Dewey Ave., deadending Lee St, and overpassing Minnesota Ave. and Price St.

It would move along the hillside above Columbian Park in a long arc, then make a gradual swing to the south to pass behind the Hall China Co. plant, touching the upper end of Putnam St and then joining Harvey Ave. about 1,000 feet west of the state line.

The engineering report commented that the freeway "will provide relief of congestion throughout tha entire downtown area."

It pointed out that the highway would carry Route 30 and 7 traffic to and from the northwest. Route 30 traffic from the south and Route 39 traffic to and from the east

"It will serve as a major highway leading to the downtown section of East Liverpool and also will act to route through traffic around, the presently congested downtown area," the report commented.

The freeway, totaling 5.2 miles, could be built in three stages, the Baker report said.

Based on present formulas, the city's share of the overall coat would be about $1,360.000. Of the total, the engineers estimated $5,928,190 would be required for construction and $3,065,500 for rights-of-way and property damage.

With the State Highway Department and the federal government providing 90 per cent of the construction cost, the city's 10 per cent would be about $593,900. Generally, the local subdivision is asked to pay 25 per cent of the right-of-way cost, which figures out to $766,375.

Stage 1, l.7 miles long and costing $3,739,274, would start in California Hollow and take the freeway to the Chester Bridge approach.

"This stage is first in importance because of the urgency of relieving congestion on the downtown streets," the report said. "Construction of this section of the plan will remove all present through traffic of State Routes 7 and 39 west and Route 30 north and south from the busines section, reducing congestion in the shopping area."

Stage 2 would begin at the Chester Bridge and extend northeast 1.1 miles to a point on Pennsylvania Ave. west of State Street. The cost is estimated at $1,302,643.

"Completion of this stage will handle the remaining through traffic of State Route 39 east, which at the completion of Stage I would be divided between E. 5th St to Pennsylvania Ave. and the River Rd. to Pennsylvania Ave.," the report said, "This section also will enable full use of the Interchange to the Chester Bridge," it added.

Stage 3 would continue from the point on Pennsylvania, Ave. west of State St. to the completion near the state line. It would be 2.4 miles long, costing an estimated $3,961.773.

"This final stage will remove through traffic from the existing city streets in the congested commercial and industrial East End," the report said. "Congestion in this district is serious and should be relieved if possible within the next few years."

The present route from the state line to California Hollow is 4.7 miles and can be traveled in 21 minutes at legal speeds under good conditions, the report said. Although the recommended route is 5.2 miles, it could be traveled in 10 minutes by elimination of stops forced by intersections and traffic lights, the report said.

Using a formula that takes into account the savings in driver's time and auto wear and tear, the engineering report said a motorist would "save" 28 cents every time he used the route. Multiplying the 28-cent saving by the 10,000 cars that use the stretch in an average 24-hour period, the report said the saying would be $2,800 a day or $1,022,000 a year.

In addition to the estimated cost of the improvement. $1,800,738 would be added for engineering, administration costs and contingencies, pushing the total to $10,804, 428, the report said. Financing the Job over a 30-year period: with a bond Issue at 3 per cent interest would require a total of $13,990,553 the report said.

City Landmarks Vanish


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