Dublin Villager

Scioto River Corridor

Realigning Riverside Drive key element in development

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A transformation is planned for the Scioto River Corridor, thanks to public improvements.

Dublin last week outlined a plan for the realignment of Riverside Drive, a roundabout at the Riverside Drive/state Route 161 intersection, a new park and pedestrian bridge that will all act as the catalyst for redevelopment along the Scioto River.

Plans for the Bridge Street District started in 2009 and envisioned redeveloping about 6 percent of Dublin, or 1,200 acres, along state Route 161 from Sawmill Road to the Interstate-270/U.S. Route 33 interchange into a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly, urban style environment that will attract young professionals and act as a destination for central Ohio residents.

The key to sparking redevelopment along the Scioto River, Dublin officials have said, is public improvements.

The realignment of Riverside Road will push the road east, giving the city more land along the Scioto River for a park. The park will give the city access to the "incredibly untapped" resource of the river, said Darren Meyer of MKSK, the firm chosen to design the public improvements.

"One of the most exciting developments to come out of this will be people will actually be able to see the river," he said.

People will have a view of the river from the pedestrian bridge planned north of the Bridge Street bridge and from parks planned on the east and west side of the river.

"The key component when we shift Riverside Drive is a green area," Meyer said.

The park on the east side of the river is expected to provide a large green space that can host events such as concerts, yoga or kickball.

A path running north and south along the river is planned and Meyer said a climbing wall is in the works, either constructed or taking advantage of natural rock walls in the area.

One of the parks will provide access to the river for canoes and kayaks.

A cafe is also expected on the east side where the pedestrian bridge lands, Meyer said.

The park on the west side of the Scioto River will "be sensitive to the character of Historic Dublin," he said.

"It will be a very passive area with a few walking trails, but not active spaces," said Steve Langworthy, Dublin's director of long range planning.

Other public improvements planned for the Scioto River Corridor include a new road network to carry traffic through a development planned on the east side of Riverside Drive called Bridge Park (see related story above).

The public and private development will happen together, Meyer said, calling the two "inseparable."

"This project relies on all public improvements," Nelson Yoder of Crawford Hoying said.

The company is planning to invest $300 million on a mixed-use development to the east of Riverside Drive that will include restaurants, a hotel, boutique shops, fitness center, office, commercial and residential space.

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