After nearly a decade of work, the final phase of Emerald Parkway will soon be under construction.

After nearly a decade of work, the final phase of Emerald Parkway will soon be under construction.

Dublin City Council members last week awarded a $7.7 million construction contract to George J. Igel & Co. for the eighth and final phase of Emerald Parkway.

City Engineer Paul Hammersmith said the completion of the road is a big event for Dublin.

"It's the culmination of 18 years of work," Hammersmith said, noting the first portion of Emerald Parkway was constructed in 1996.

"This is a $62 million investment. Construction has been just under $42 million."

When finished, Emerald Parkway will run 5.6 miles from Tuttle Crossing Boulevard to Sawmill Road.

So far, Hammersmith said, the roadway has improved mobility "and certainly has reduced congestion on adjoining roads."

The final phase of Emerald Parkway will join the road at Riverside Drive to where the stub ends south of Hard Road.

The newest segment of Emerald Parkway "involved the construction of approximately 5,500 feet of 4-lane boulevard consisting of a multi-lane modern roundabout (at Bright Road), curb and gutter, median, on-roadway sharrows, asphalt shared-use path," a water main extension, storm sewers and culvert over Billingsley Creek, the staff report to council stated.

But the completion of a road isn't the only reason for Dublin to celebrate, Hammersmith said.

The new road will open up "115 acres of prime commercial real estate," he said, adding that about 1 million square feet of office space could be built along the Interstate-270 fronting property.

"This is the largest, undeveloped, contiguous piece of I-270 commercial frontage left in the region," the staff report to council said. "This final connector will provide increased mobility from Sawmill to Tuttle for many businesses and employees in Dublin, including those housed along Emerald Parkway like Cardinal Health, Verizon, IGS Energy, CareWorks and more."

With the contract awarded, residents will see work begin soon with the burial of electric lines, Hammersmith said.

"Staff anticipates construction on this segment to begin in January," he said.

Dublin anticipates completion of Emerald Parkway by Nov. 20, 2014.

During construction, Hammersmith said, Bright Road will remain open to residents.