Dublin is looking at art on a grand scale -- 100 acres to be specific.
With improvements for the Interstate 270 and U.S. Route 33 interchange slated to start in late 2014, Dublin is looking at options to make the new ramps aesthetically pleasing and create a gateway for the city.
Like other public art projects, Dublin is seeking input from the community for aesthetic enhancements for the interchange that will cover an area of about 75 football fields.
"This is such a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our community to influence this design," said Sara Ott, Dublin senior project manager.
For the project, Dublin has contracted with Maryland-based Creative Design Resolutions, a company focused on "the exploration and development of context sensitive aesthetic transportation design, an increasingly essential component of successful highway, bridge, and related roadway projects," information on the company website said.
"We work with communities and project teams to develop site-specific aesthetic treatments that respect and engage the community's history, values, and surrounding environment and architecture."
Last week, the city started taking community input to give Creative Design Resolutions ideas for site designs.
"There are infinite possibilities that can be made into concrete, any type of relief sculpture," Ott said.
"The imagery has many options. That's why (Creative Design Solutions President Steven Weizman) is engaging with the community -- to find a vibrancy that would be valuable to translate into the artwork."
A focus group that drew 50-60 people was held Sept. 30 and the city began online queries Oct. 1.
Until Oct. 15, residents can go online and engage in feedback for the project at 27033interchange.org/signature-gateway. Questions focus on Dublin's history, what makes the city great and points of pride.
The aesthetic enhancements will likely be limited to relief sculptures on the nine new ramps planned for the interchange. Plans for landscaping could also be included.
"The important part is it needs to be cost effective," Ott said, adding a relief can be set into ramps as concrete is poured.
"You can pour it plain or do something to make it interesting... . With the site being 100 acres, that's a lot of space to figure out where on that space is appropriate to add enhancements," she said.
"That's part of the assignment the Creative Design Solutions has been charged with. The aesthetics master plan takes advantage of dollars already being planned... ."
The aesthetic enhancements plan is being completed through a partnership between Dublin, the Dublin Arts Council and the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Creative Design Solutions has worked with departments of transportation across the country and will need approval from ODOT.
"We felt like (Weizman) has the skill set to deliver a signature gateway for the city," Ott said.
Creative Design Solutions will use community input to create different ideas for the interchange.
"From those we'll choose three ideas they want to fully work into designs to present to the community," Ott said.
"They'll be doing that throughout October and early November."