The Fairfield County Engineer's Office is in the midst of a project to replace a bridge on West Columbus Street in Pickerington.

It is work officials said could lead to pedestrian enhancements in the future.

On June 11, Columbus Street was closed to traffic between Willow Run Drive and Hill Road.

According to Fairfield County Deputy Engineer Bill Maravy, that section of Columbus Street likely will remain closed through the end of July, as a steel, arched bridge installed in 1973 is replaced.

"They're replacing an existing structure that was there," Maravy said. "The structure was functionally obsolete."

Maravy said a 14-foot concrete bridge is being installed.

In addition, he said the new design would enable Pickerington to install sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, if city officials so choose.

"There have been plans in the past to put sidewalks through there," Maravy said. "The (old) bridge was not wide enough for sidewalks.

"There's a lot of pedestrian traffic that goes through there."

Pickerington City Manager Frank Wiseman said city officials likely will discuss the possible addition of sidewalks on the portion of Columbus Street that is closed for the bridge work.

He noted a "rough estimate" for a project there is $66,300, but no money has been budgeted for any such work.

"The city needs to determine which side of the road, or both, would be appropriate and also may wish to investigate grant opportunities before proceeding," Wiseman said.

Fairfield County is overseeing the bridge project because it owns most of the bridges in the county.

Maravy said the total cost of the work is estimated at $260,000.

The county's share is $67,600. The balance of the project is being funded by a $192,400 Ohio Public Works Commission grant.

"The project is scheduled for 10 weeks from the (June 11) start date, but our goal is to try to get it completed before the first week in August," Maravy said.

"We've already lost a week due to rain."

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