Design details for the Uptown Westerville improvement project have been finalized, according to city engineer Scott Tourville.
At a Feb. 12 council meeting, Tourville presented revised plans of the project, stating they should look very similar to the original plans that were presented except for a few general changes. The project would affect State Street between Walnut and Home streets.
The seating elements and table near the marquee in front of Barrel & Boar, 8 N. State St., have been removed because of feedback on the previous version of the plan. The revised version has added planters that contain bollards, short vertical posts, on the inside.
"We are able to provide the protection to the marquee and do so in an aesthetically pleasing manner," he said.
Previously announced improvements included brick crosswalks, new sidewalks and address numbers inlayed into the concrete.
Tourville said the city intends to select a contractor by the March 19 council meeting.
He said before construction starting in April, a pre-construction meeting is planned for early April to inform business owners in the Uptown Westerville district. He said he anticipates construction starting in the middle of the month.
Christa Dickey, the city's community affairs director, said a plan is in place for informing business owners, thanks to a process that began last summer. The city staff visited Newark and the Short North to see how they handled various construction plans.
Dickey said the construction project will be visible on the city website.
"The city is committed to helping merchants deal with this construction on a day-to-day basis," she said. "We very much will approach this as a partnership."
Dickey said officials will be putting out information on a regular basis once the project starts.
Since mid-2017, Westerville staff members have been working on a plan that would replace sidewalks and pedestrian crossings in Uptown Westerville to improve mobility, add bump-outs, or short curb extensions, at crosswalks, meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards and improve aesthetics and traffic signals.
The city staff initially presented three options that ranged in cost and scope. All three posed issues for Uptown Westerville business owners who had voiced concerns about construction affecting their businesses.
In March 2018, area business owners and the city came to a compromise that would result in no loss of parking spaces, a shorter schedule and a $3.3 million budget.
The city has indicated it hopes work may be scheduled around business hours as much as practical, with a goal for all businesses to remain open during construction.