Dublin could put nearly $1 million more than initially expected into improvements on Emerald Parkway between Tuttle Crossing Boulevard and Rings Road.

Dublin could put nearly $1 million more than initially expected into improvements on Emerald Parkway between Tuttle Crossing Boulevard and Rings Road.

Dublin City Council members last week approved an amendment to a design and right-of-way acquisition agreement with Columbus, which will have Dublin pay for more of the work.

According to city engineer Paul Hammersmith, the project is estimated to cost $7.7 million and received a grant of $4.4 million from the Ohio Public Works Commission to fund design, right-of-way acquisition, construction, contingencies and inspection services.

The plan was to have Columbus pay for 63 percent of the remaining construction costs and Dublin the other 37 percent. Columbus also agreed to pay 60 percent of all other project-related costs, with Dublin paying 40 percent.

"Columbus has asked us to assist them in their right-of-way acquisition costs and relocation of utilities," Hammersmith said, adding that Columbus has spent more than it budgeted for right-of-way acquisitions so far.

Columbus has requested $350,000 from Dublin in the next 30 days, the staff report to council states, and, if needed, Dublin could provide Columbus up to $650,000 more for right-of-way and utility relocation costs.

Hammersmith said additional funds that Dublin provides could be offset in the future on projects the city does with Columbus, such as improvement on Sawmill and Hard roads.

Staff recommended approval of the amendment to the agreement, as the grant for the project stipulates construction must begin by the end of April, Hammersmith said.

"We're desperate to do this," he said.

City manager Marsha Grigsby agreed.

"This is something Dublin should do based on the importance of the project for the city," she said.

Mayor Tim Lecklider questioned the possibility of Dublin getting paid back for the extra funds, while council member Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher expressed surprise over Columbus not planning properly.

"It's shocking that this is not a priority for them," she said, noting that large businesses are located on this portion of Emerald Parkway. "This is really discouraging to say the least."

Council approved the amendment, but asked staff to get a formal agreement that includes some way to recover the extra funds.

Construction on the Emerald Parkway improvements is expected to start in April and could be finished by July 2013.

Council last week also awarded a $2.2-million contract to Caldwell Tanks for the construction of the Dublin Road water tower.

Hammersmith said the new tower will be constructed behind the Bogey Bar and Grill starting in April or May, with completion by August.