Although 2019 marked the substantial completion of New Albany's Rose Run Park revitalization project, 2020 will usher in planning for the next phase.
Rose Run Park is part of the Rose Run stream corridor that runs mostly parallel to Dublin-Granville Road through New Albany. A central component of the improvements was a 34-foot bridge and promenade that connects the New Albany-Plain Local School District campus on the north side of Dublin-Granville to the New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and Market Square to the south.
This year, the city will begin planning and initial design for phase 2 of the park project, said City Manager Joseph Stefanov. The second phase will include an area north of Village Hall Road, south of Dublin-Granville Road, east of Main Street and west of Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, he said.
The improvements will position the area for redevelopment, Stefanov said.
The project scope includes improving the community garden adjacent to the Village Hall parking lot and expanding that lot so it can serve the community in a greater capacity, he said.
City leaders do not know by how many spaces the lot would be expanded, but the addition is necessary because of continued development in the Village Center, he said.
The second phase also would extend the bicycle path and sidewalk along Dublin-Granville Road, from the intersection at U.S. Route 62 to the east through Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, Stefanov said.
A bridge, which would be smaller in scale than the first phase's bridge, likely would be added over the creek somewhere between Route 62 and Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road to connect that area to the Village Hall parking lot and nearby historic cemetery, he said.
Other projects for 2020 include concept plans for a new veterans memorial, Stefanov said. The memorial north of the village center on Route 62 is out of date and is running out of room to add names of new veterans, he said.
"We need to find a new location that's appropriate," he said.
Several construction projects also are slated for 2020.
Depending upon whether the city receives a state grant, construction could begin at the end of 2020 to extend Market Street from Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road to Third Street, Stefanov said. It would conclude at the end of 2021.
The project would include improvements to Third Street, which has one lane of traffic in each direction, Stefanov said. The project would widen the road to create a boulevard in the middle of the road, he said.
The city also could add a roundabout at Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road and Market Street and add a traffic signal at Route 62 and Third Street, he said.
The project would cost about $3 million, he said.
Another major road project is the state Route 161 and Route 62 interchange, Stefanov said.
The city received a $479,000 grant and $1.5 million loan from the Ohio Public Works for the project, and it is likely to receive additional state funds for the $3 million project, he said.
The project scope includes improvements to ramps, medians and turn lanes, along with sidewalks and leisure trails, to improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, Stefanov said. Because of the proximity to the New Albany International Business Park, that section of road has one of the highest volumes of traffic in New Albany, he said.
The project is slated to begin in spring and will take about a year to complete, he said.
The business park also will continue to receive infrastructure improvements.
Next year, the city will extend a water line in the Licking County section of the business park at a cost of about $6 million, Stefanov said.
The water-line work includes the construction of a new water-booster station on Jug Street and the extension of water main along Beech Road from a water tower north to Jug Street, east on Jug to Harrison Road and south on Harrison, where it will connect to the water main on Innovation Campus Way, said city engineer Mike Barker.
The city also could invest $15 million in the sewer infrastructure in the park, Stefanov said.
Continually investing in the business park is crucial because it provides the city with the means to offer its services, Stefanov said. Eighty-five percent of the city's revenue is drawn from income-tax collections, and most of it comes from the business park, he said.
"Without the business-park revenue, we would not be able to provide the level of service that we provide," he said.
Although the city works to make sure its business park can support existing and future development, it also focuses on preserving open land.
The city is negotiating with a resident who owns about 95 acres on the far west side of the city, Stefanov said.
The city obtained an $800,000 grant from the state for green-space preservation to acquire the land, he said.
The grant requires that the land remain passive, and it contains wetlands now, Stefanov said. The city will leave the land in its natural state and plant trees and improve flood-plain areas to make it a significant natural gateway to the city, he said.
Mayor Sloan Spalding said 2020 would be exciting. Besides the work on the revitalized Rose Run Park and continued expansion of the business park, the city will finish completing its strategic plan with community input this year, he said.
The plan is the key policy guide for New Albany City Council, boards, commissions and staff in evaluating land use, development and infrastructure decisions, as well as public investment and private development, he said.
"Between these projects, the overall quality of life in our community and our excellent schools, 2020 will be a great time to be living or working in New Albany," Spalding said.