Upper Arlington News

Water line project moves to next phase

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Upper Arlington officials said last week work to replace a major water line along Lane Avenue is largely complete, and now the project has moved to Mt. Holyoke Road.

Late last month, crews wrapped up the majority of the installation of a new water line on Lane Avenue between Northwest Boulevard and North Star Road.

The final touches to that portion of the project likely won't come until next spring or summer, when prolonged warmer temperatures are expected to allow for the resurfacing of Lane Avenue.

In the meantime, three lanes of traffic -- one lane eastbound and two lanes westbound -- are operating on Lane, except for between 4 and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturdays when the Ohio State University football team is playing home games.

"The road surface will be refinished next spring or summer," Upper Arlington Community Affairs Director Emma Speight said. "It's going to hinge on when we get that portion in front of the mixed-use project (in front of the former Lane Avenue Baptist Church site) back.

"It allows us to kind of see how this three-lane configuration is working."

Speight said the city's engineering department recommended expanding Lane from two lanes to three after the opening of The Wine Bistro, 1750 W. Lane Ave., more than a year ago.

The popularity of the bistro resulted in customer parking overflowing into nearby neighborhoods, she said.

In response, the three-lane configuration will allow more traffic to move through the area during peak travel hours, Speight said, but parking will be permitted in Lane's third westbound at all other times.

"It gives you additional parking spaces, which hopefully cuts down on parking in the surrounding neighborhoods," she said.

Now the water line replacement has moved to Mt. Holyoke Road. Speight said the project will entail the installation of a new water line starting just south of Northam Road to Mt. Holyoke's dead-end.

"Residents on those blocks will have full access to their homes the majority of the time," she said. "They're being notified when access to their homes will be impacted, and it will only be impacted for a short time."

After work is completed on Mt. Holyoke, the project will move to Wellsley Drive. The latter phase is expected to take place in late October or early November.

Like Lane Avenue, resurfacing Mt. Holyoke and Wellsley Drive isn't expected to occur before next spring.

The work for the total project began in mid-July. It's being done to replace infrastructure that's more than 60 years old and to facilitate the redevelopment of the former Lane Avenue Baptist Church site, Speight said last month.

The redevelopment project, being conducted by Lane Avenue Redevelopment LLC, is expected to yield a hotel and a combination of restaurant and retail space, offices and apartments which city officials have said could generate more than $711,000 in new, annual property taxes for Upper Arlington.

As part of Lane Avenue Redevelopment's tax-increment financing (TIF) agreement with the city, a portion of those new, annual taxes will be used to fund the water line and resurfacing work. Estimates for the overall project, including work on Lane, Mt. Holyoke and Wellsley, amount to $2.03 million.

"We will be issuing some debts through bonds to get this project paid off now," Speight said. "Then we will repay the debt through the TIF.

"It's using future money to get the work done now. Another appealing aspect was we get the water line work done without using existing (city) monies."

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