Uptown Westerville $3.6 million improvements project on budget

MARLA K. KUHLMAN
mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com
Construction crews work on road improvements at State and Main streets Aug. 11 in Uptown Westerville.

Westerville motorists and pedestrians soon might be able to navigate Uptown Westerville more easily because of a project scheduled to be completed this fall.

Scott Tourville, Westerville city engineer, said the approximately $3.36 million Uptown improvement project, which involves pavement resurfacing and sidewalk replacements along State Street, between Walnut and Home streets, is on schedule, with completion expected in October.

He said the project hasn't experienced any major cost overruns, and none are anticipated.

Most of the project's funding comes from the city's general capital-improvements fund.

"The decision to conduct these improvements in the heart of Westerville really came down to improving access for all visitors, with wider sidewalks and new ramps, and also improving safety for all with upgraded traffic signal components," said David Collinsworth, Westerville city manager. "We also took this opportunity to add some cosmetic improvements, making the area an even more pleasant place to shop, dine and enjoy events."

Since mid-2017, Westerville city staff members have been working on a plan that would replace sidewalks and pedestrian crossings in Uptown Westerville to improve mobility, add curb extensions at crosswalks, meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards and improve aesthetics and traffic signals.

City employees initially presented three options that varied in cost and scope.

All three posed issues for Uptown Westerville business owners, who had voiced concerns about construction affecting businesses.

In March 2018, area business owners and the city came to a compromise that would result in no loss of parking spaces and a shorter schedule.

Tourville said crews are working on brick crosswalks at five intersections: State Street at Home, Main, Park and Walnut streets and College Avenue.

He said the work is being done in phases to maintain pedestrian and vehicle traffic, and it is expected to be complete in mid-September.

"We're also working on upgrades and replacements to traffic-signal components," Tourville said. "We will then need to install the two brick crosswalks at the mid-block locations, in\ front of City Hall and the (Westerville Public) Library, as well as finish up any minor outstanding items."

Sidewalks and pavement markings are already complete.

"Our team was able to take advantage of the COVID-19 (coronavirus pandemic) shutdown and complete the vast majority of the sidewalk in front of businesses during the spring shutdown," Tourville said. "Since then we have finished all sidewalk work, paving and pavement markings."

For updates about Uptown Westerville improvements, go to westerville.org/uptown.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla

Construction crews work on road improvements at State and Main streets Aug. 11 in Uptown Westerville.