Streetscape among summer road projects

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Main Street’s multi-million dollar transformation begins this spring with the first of two construction phases in the Olde Reynoldsburg area.

The city plans to use a total of $ 4 million in grants and zero-interest loans from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) to pay for the project, which is estimated at $ 7.8 million at total.

Last month, city council awarded a $ 3.61 million contract to complete general construction of streetscape improvements along Main Street between Davidson Drive and Jackson Street, the first phase of the project.

Increasing walking and improving landscaping, lighting and parking at Olde Reynoldsburg were among the goals identified in the city’s 2018 comprehensive plan. Officials hope to make the area a “downtown destination” by developing retail and gathering spaces similar to communities such as Bexley and Old Worthington.

“Creating a pedestrian-friendly environment on Main Street will allow greater connectivity for residents and guests to the many restaurants and stores available today, as well as attracting new businesses to help revitalize the entire region.” Mayor Joe Begeny said.

Traffic lanes will be reduced from 16 feet to 12 feet wide to widen sidewalks and slow traffic for a more pedestrian-friendly downtown. Clay brick sidewalk pavers, limestone benches, decorative street lighting and middle plantings will be added.

More than 100 on-street parking will be added when both phases are completed, officials said.

Construction will also replace a 90-year-old storm sewer under the road.

A second phase scheduled for spring 2022 will complete the streetscape from Jackson Street east to the Wagoner / Graham intersection, for an estimated $ 3 million.

Last month, the Board approved a $ 339,795 contract with EMH & T for survey, design engineering and bidding services for the second phase.

Reynoldsburg received a grant of $ 1.49 million for both phases, for a total of more than $ 2.98 million in public funding.

The city also secured an interest-free loan of $ 502,000 for each phase, to be repaid over 23 years, according to council documents.

“Our goal is to maximize taxpayer dollars in any project we undertake, and the OPWC funding was very important in reducing the overall cost to the city while achieving our goals,” Begeny said.

The remaining money comes from the city’s capital improvement fund. Voters in 2017 approved increasing the city’s income tax rate to 2.5% to generate additional revenue for community center and infrastructure needs.

In a separate project, the Ohio Department of Transportation will repav the same stretch of Main Street in 2021.

Columbia Gas has moved its facilities along Lancaster Avenue and Main Street in anticipation of the project, so drivers should expect to see lane closures as a result.

Construction work is expected to intensify in late June, Begeny said.

Street program approved

City council also approved more than $ 1 million in contracts related to the 2021 streets program.

The city awarded a $ 1.5 million contract to Strawser Paving for the milling and repaving of the Bergenia, Fallriver, Linick, Priestly and Taylor Mills driveways and the parking lots at JFK Park, 7232 E. Main Street, and Livingston House, 1792 Graham Road.

The city is expected to spend about $ 30,000 on sidewalk repairs as part of its annual street maintenance program, so the work can be done simultaneously.

Under Ohio law, municipalities can repair sidewalks and assess the cost to property owners, who are responsible for maintaining sidewalks that directly abut their properties.

Homeowners who need to make repairs will be notified by the city; those who do not make the repairs will be included in the city contract and will have the option of paying Reynoldsburg directly or having the costs assessed on their property taxes.

The city will post information about road closures and traffic delays on its website and social media channels.

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