Youngstown Smart² Network

The Youngstown SMART2 Network

The Youngstown SMART2 Network was awarded $10.85 million through USDOT’s BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grant program in December of 2018. Phase 1 Improvements were completed in 2021, and Phase 2 improvements began in 2021.

Current Info

Concepts For Streets Post-Improvement

Phase 2 Mockups

View our 2018 BUILD Application


Supplemental Documentation

Project area map

November 15 Phase 1 Ribbon Cutting & Phase 2 Groundbreaking

Man giving speech

Man giving speech to people

Monday, November 15, 2021, the City of Youngstown and Eastgate held a ribbon cutting for Phase 1 of the SMART2 Network improvements on Fifth Avenue in Youngstown, and a groundbreaking for Phase 2.

Congressman Tim Ryan, Congressman Bill Johnson, City Councilman Julius Oliver, Mayor Tito Brown, YSU President Jim Tressel and Eastgate Executive Director Jim Kinnick spoke at the event, highlighting the spirit of collaboration to support the SMART2 Network.

Group of men cutting red ribbon in street

Group of men with shovels of dirt in front of building

June 23rd 2020 Groundbreaking

Man giving speech at podium at groundbreaking event

Man giving speech to a group of people

Group of people standing in front of pile of dirt

Man wearing a mask in front of shovel

July 5th 2018 Public Meeting

Paperwork on table and people looking at maps

Nearly forty stakeholders participated in a public meeting held at Eastgate on July 5th for Youngstown’s SMART² Network. During the public meeting, residents and community members provided important feedback on the merit of the proposal for safety and economic revitalization. Participants also provided critical feedback for the proposal, including how they experience mobility and places where additional enhancements to the transportation network should be examined.

People sitting at desks in a meeting

The SMART2 Solution

Addressing Transportation Challenges

Eastgate Regional Council of Governments is applying for funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program to develop the Youngstown SMART2 Network.

The Youngstown SMART2 Network will connect Strategic & Sustainable, Medical & Manufacturing, Academic & Arts, Residential & Recreational, Technology & Training centers in the heart of the Mahoning Valley region, by enhancing mobility, improving safety, and integrating technology into a modern and efficient multi modal transportation system in Downtown Youngstown that responsive to adaptive to the needs of current and future users.

SMART2 will incorporate improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities, autonomous transit shuttles, transit waiting environments, green infrastructure, streetscaping, and wayfinding connecting major regional destinations that include Youngstown State University, Mercy Health, Youngstown Business Incubator, Eastern Gateway Community College, and WRTA Federal Station.

Federal investment in SMART2 will allow Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley region to reverse decades of outward migration and disinvestment by continuing to build off recent and ongoing public and private partner investments in the project area including the Mahoning Valley Innovation & Commercialization Center, Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater, Mill Creek MetroParks Connector trail, and Chill Can manufacturing facility.

Together our local, regional and state partners stand behind this catalytic project to revitalize the heart of the Mahoning Valley and improve the regional quality of life of all residents and businesses, rural and urban, who rely on Downtown Youngstown as the areawide economic engine for innovation, education and workforce development.

In the core of the Mahoning Valley, the Youngstown SMART2 Network will connect Strategic, Sustainable, Medical, Manufacturing, Academic, Arts, Residential, Recreational, Technology, and Training centers in our regional heart and downtown Youngstown, positively transforming our region, communities, people, and lives. The Youngstown SMART2 Network proposal for this BUILD application builds upon more than ten years of planning and coalition building by the project partners, resulting in a transition of an Appalachian community’s economy to one reliant on high value-added services and advanced manufacturing. The proposal is greatly enhanced from last year’s “highly rated” BUILD proposal, building upon an even larger economic and construction momentum, an expanded scope, with increased partnership, providing greater impact, and offering significantly increased cost share and private investment.

Through an innovative partnership with DriveOhio, autonomous shuttle service will be provided on Fifth Avenue and Rayen Avenue capitalizing on existing roadway capacity along these arterials. DriveOhio will provide Eastgate with technical, legislative and procurement support relative to autonomous vehicles.

Complete street elements will be applied to five streets including Fifth Avenue, Rayen Avenue, Front Street, Commerce Street, and Park Avenue to provide safe pedestrian and bicycle-friendly access for residents, workers, and visitors. Reconstructing the roadways for complete streets will repair aging infrastructure and improve access for all modes of travel. Other improvements include replacing existing stormwater drainage, striping bike lanes, adding a median, restoring sidewalks, delineating bus stops and crosswalks, installing street lighting, and planting landscaping.

Smart2 Features

For more information on USDOT's BUILD program, click the image below:

BUILD Grants -