Plans are in place to install a new multiuse path by this winter at a 3.5-acre park on the city's northwest side.
Wyandot Park at Lane Road and Riverside Drive already has an Ohio historical marker noting that the site used to be part of a network of pathways known as the Scioto Trail, where Native Americans would hunt, trade and migrate.
By this winter, the park will have a new, quarter-mile path that visitors and those passing through to places like Griggs Reservoir Park can use for walking, jogging and riding bicycles.
Upper Arlington City Council unanimously approved a $173,160 contract with Strawser Paving Co. Inc. on June 25 to pay for construction of an 8-foot-wide shared-use path this summer. The project is expected to conclude before the end of this year.
City Engineer Jackie Thiel said the project would be funded in part by a $100,000 State Capital grant, leaving the city to fund the remaining $73,160.
She added that the new path would be an enhancement to the park for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it will replace an existing shared-use path that isn't compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
"The biggest difference is the slope of the new path is much more gradual as it reaches the Wyandot Park parking," Thiel said. "This will be accomplished by added curves to the new path through the park."
A June 18 staff report from Thiel's office to Upper Arlington City Council said the new, ADA-compliant path would connect Wyandot Park with Masters Drive, which in turn will link new sidewalks on Lane Road with existing sidewalks on McCoy Road.
Further, Thiel, said, the path will allow Wyandot visitors and those passing through to safely access Griggs Reservoir Park, a popular Columbus Metro Park located along Riverside Drive to the south of Wyandot, which features shared-use paths, greenspace and a disc golf course.
"The new path will connect the residents to the south of the park, inviting more users of the park," she said. "Additionally, this connection also provides safe access to Griggs Reservoir Park via an existing signalized crosswalk at the intersection of Riverside Drive at Lane Road."
Thiel said the existing path at Wyandot would be closed while the new one is being installed, but the remainder of the park would be open and available throughout construction.
"We will be providing residents impacted by the construction additional information once we have the preconstruction meeting with Strawser Paving," she said.
Councilwoman Carolyn Casper said she backs the contract with Strawser in large part because it would update the existing path and make it usable by people with mobility and other ADA issues.
"I support the shared-use path at Wyandot Park," Casper said. "Parks should be accessible to everyone, and this path will help make that possible."