Franklin Street is expected to reopen Wednesday, June 17, after the completion of a $2.4 million upgrade that includes curbs, sidewalks and streetlights on the previously unimproved road.

"Our investment in the project is to make the Old Hilliard district more walkable and pedestrian-friendly," said Letty Schamp, Hilliard's deputy engineer.

The project began in January and was partially funded in last year's capital-improvements-project budget, Schamp said.

The remainder was funded in the 2020 CIP budget.

Mansfield-based Elite Excavating Co. was the general contractor.

The project included a 900-foot section of Franklin Street from the terminus of the Landmark Lofts development northwest to Main Street.

A section of Columbia Street that crosses Franklin Street also was improved, including northeast to Center Street and a shorter section of Columbia northwest of Franklin, Schamp said.

In addition to the curbs, sidewalks and streetlights, on-street parking, gutters and green areas were added and sewer lines were relined, Schamp said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and the reopening of Franklin Street is set for June 17.

Another project farther north in Old Hilliard district also is set to finish soon.

Construction of a 73-space parking lot with lights is underway at Center and Wayne streets, said city engineer Clark Rausch.

The new parking lot is near the Crooked Can Brewing Co. at Center Street Market, 5354 Center St.

Columbus Asphalt Paving is building the new parking lot for $793,700, Rausch said.

Another part of the project will involve construction of a 750-foot extension of the Heritage Rail Trail from its terminus near the Makoy Center, 5462 Center St., to Hilliard's Station Park, 4021 Main St.

Some of the paved spaces will be constructed on the north side of Franklin Street, west of Grant Street and adjacent to the Hilliard Civic and Cultural Arts Center, 5425 Center St. Other paved spaces will be added between Grant and Wayne streets, adjacent to the Early Television Museum, 5396 Franklin St.

The parking lot was scheduled for completion by June 1 but is behind schedule because of bad weather and delays related to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Rausch said.

"We expect it to be finished by the fourth week of June," he said.