Although some plantings are slated this spring, New Albany's Rose Run Park revitalization project is complete, with the park open to residents after roughly 18 months of work.
The project should be on target or a bit under its projected cost of $17 million, said Adrienne Joly, the city's director of administrative services. The city still will have expenses during the first quarter of the year for the remaining work in spring, she said.
The expenses will include plantings in the garden at the New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 200 Market St., and planters on the south side of Dublin-Granville Road, as well as other native vegetation in natural areas of the park, she said.
Rose Run Park is part of the Rose Run stream corridor that runs mostly parallel to Dublin-Granville Road through New Albany, and it previously had been accessible only by leisure trails.
The city's revitalization efforts for the area include construction of 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 library and Market Square to the south.
The city's interest in improving the Rose Run corridor dates to a 1993 study of the area, Joly said. The corridor previously had been a barrier between the district campus and the library and Market Square, she said.
"That's been completely changed now," she said.
The park's pedestrian bridge, named Raines Crossing, connects them, she said.
Connectivity is the primary benefit of the Rose Run project, Joly said.
Work to improve the corridor began in summer 2018 with the clearing of invasive species, Joly said, and Dublin-Granville Road was closed Oct. 1 of that year.
After several rounds of clearing and treatment of invasive plant growth, the park is "dramatically different," she said.
Previously, greenery obstructed the view of the district campus from the library, Joly said. Now, one has a clear view, she said.
Dublin-Granville Road from Fodor Road to Main Street also has changed as a result of the project, she said. The road reopened in August, less than a year after its closure.
The north side of the street has a leisure trail, and the south side has a sidewalk and a bicycle lane buffered from the street by a curb, Joly said.
The road has two 11-foot lanes, Joly said. The lanes previously were wider and varied in width, and they had gravel shoulders instead of curbs, she said.
The speed limit on Dublin-Granville is 35 mph, said city spokesman Scott McAfee. The limit would be 20 mph when school is in session and school zone lights are activated, he said.
City leaders are interested in seeing if a traffic study would warrant an eventual decrease in speed, McAfee said.
"We expect that speeds will decrease naturally, in part because of the narrowing of the road, the installation of crosswalks and curb and the likely increase in pedestrian and cycling traffic around the roadway," he said.
In order to change a speed limit, a traffic study would need to be conducted, McAfee said. The city would need to meet criteria established by the Ohio Department of Transportation as rationale for changing the speed limit, he said.
The city likely will conduct a traffic study of the area at some point this year, McAfee said.
The project also included the addition of stormwater management for the stream corridor and the relocation of overhead utility lines to underground, Joly said.
New amenities at the park include free Wi-Fi, a natural play area for children, a variety of seating areas and a bicycle hub near the library garden to fill water bottles and work on bicycles, Joly said.