Now that Dublin City Council members have approved the city's plans for Riverside Crossing Park's east plaza, the project can move into the next phase.

Council's approval of site and development plans for the first phase of Riverside Crossing Park's east plaza was the final step needed to proceed with developing construction drawings to prevent unnecessary delays, said Matt Earman, Dublin's director of recreation services.

The city's pedestrian bridge -- which will connect the Historic and Bridge Street districts -- is scheduled to be completed in fall 2019, and the construction of the east plaza improvements will follow that, Earman said.

City Council on Dec. 3 approved the east plaza phase 1 site and development plan. They also approved a waiver for a 14 1/2-foot retaining wall.

In May, council members had voted to table a decision on the site plan, asking staff members to share more information about issues, including safety rails and retaining walls, grading, water-fountain design, lighting, trees and planting.

Taking the time to review council's questions produced a better plan, said councilwoman Jane Fox.

Staff incorporated many of council's comments, said councilwoman Cathy De Rosa.

Among the features in the east plaza plan are upper and lower terraces, a pavilion building with restrooms, a large lawn, seating areas, a promenade and water features. The plaza will align with Bridge Park Avenue and provide access from the pedestrian bridge to the park.

Now that council has approved phase 1, the project team can start developing construction drawings for elements funded by the city's capital improvements program for 2019 and 2020, Earman said.

"Council approved $17,725,000 in funding for the park in the 2019-2023 Capital Improvements Program (CIP)," Earman said. "The approved development and site plan identifies improvements which will be developed based on CIP funding."

Construction drawings, permits, contract administration and bidding are expected to take up to nine months, he said. Construction is slated to begin in fall 2019, contingent on construction of the pedestrian bridge. The total construction time is estimated to take up to three years.

Riverside Crossing Park's west plaza is under construction, Earman said. Once the bridge is finished, a temporary access will be installed so pedestrians and cyclists can use the bridge during the east plaza construction.

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