Dublin plans streetscape face-lift for west side of South High Street

SARAH SOLE
ssole@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

The west side of South High Street in Dublin is getting a face-lift.

The city is planning this fall to plant trees on a section of the road between Bridge Street and John Wright Lane, said Matt Earman, Dublin parks and recreation-services director.

The work is part of the South High Street Streetscape Improvement project, Earman said.

The project was initiated because trees were in decline and removed when AEP last fall needed to prune limbs in the area because of nearby utility lines, he said.

Several trees were removed, leaving "a very barren area" between Bridge Street and John Wright Lane, Earman said.

The city plans to replace the trees -- which were primarily oak -- with tulip trees, which have a crown width and height that works better with the nearby businesses, Earman said.

Part of the work will also include removing and replacing pavement to install structures underneath the pavement that will provide space for tree roots to expand, Earman said.

The city also will relocate power lines from South High Street to Mill Lane, he said.

A retaining wall to support the sidewalk will also be built between Bridge Street and John Wright Lane, Earman said.

The wall also will provide extra public seating because the area is one of the city's' most active parade routes, he said.

The project timeline largely depends on the weather, Earman said.

The city will put up the retaining wall first, but the tree planting and installation of the structures underneath the pavement still could be done in the spring if weather requires it, he said.

Earman explained that the city will not remove any existing trees. Three remain on the west side of the street and there are several on the east side.

"We will not take those down until they are a safety hazard," he said.

The city expects to pay about $1 million for the work on the west side of the project, including the trees, pavement structure and wall.

During the work, one lane of traffic on South High Street might occasionally have to be closed, Earman said.

Dublin officials said they do not plan to address the east side of the street for at least five years, when existing trees might need to be removed, Earman said.

The cost for that second phase of the project is estimated to be about $600,000, he said.

Like all the city's projects, the final design for this improvement project could change slightly based on discovery of any unknown site characteristics, Earman explained.

Vice Mayor Cathy DeRosa said the beautification project is one of several reinvestment projects Dublin City Council is pursuing along South High Street.

"From relocation of overhead utility lines, to reestablishing the treescape, to providing local businesses with grants for facade improvements, to working with members of the newly created Historic District Taskforce, we are investing time and resources to ensure the Historic District is both preserved and advanced," she said.

@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah