Visitors should know when they're entering Gahanna with a new bridge entry feature at Hamilton Road on the Interstate 270 bridge in 2015.
City engineer Karl Wetherholt said during the March 25 council committee meeting that the department of development has been wanting entry features so visitors know when they're in Gahanna.
A concept plan for Hamilton at I-270 shows Gahanna's name spelled out, as well as decorative railing and lights on the bridge.
Wetherholt said an opportunity to expedite the entry feature at Hamilton is coming to fruition, thanks to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) plan to increase the bridge clearance on I-270 bridges from Broad Street to Hamilton Road.
He said ODOT recently discovered it would be necessary to raise the Hamilton Road bridge, prompting the need to accelerate the schedule for replacing the bridge deck.
"I pointed out the bridge deck needs replaced," Wetherholt said.
Any features that are different from the standard ODOT bridge need to be designed and detailed immediately to get ODOT to construct them with the bridge repair as part of the I-270 project, Wetherholt said.
He has been working with ODOT engineering consultants and the city's landscape architect from OHM Advisors' Bird Houk to design the Gahanna features for $15,000.
"ODOT will only do so much, and we'll pick up the rest," Wetherholt said.
He has requested legislation to authorize the contract with OHM for the design services and to appropriate $15,000 from the Industrial Zone fund.
The legislation needs to be approved as an emergency measure to meet ODOT's schedule, Wetherholt said.
Gahanna development director Anthony Jones said the bridge beautification has been years in the making.
"The ODOT folks are excited about it," Wetherholt said. "They like the impact on the bridge."
Council member Brandon Wright said the entry feature design is fabulous for Hamilton Road, but he would like to see more attention to the west side of the city.
"We should make all sides equal," he said.
"This one targeted us," Wetherholt said. "They will build this bridge in 2015."