Dublin council slates $237.6 million in capital projects

Sarah Sole
ThisWeek group
This architect’s rendering shows a portion of what is planned for Dublin’s Riverside Crossing Park along the banks of the Scioto River. The city’s capital-improvements program will help pay for work on the lower plaza, which is expected to begin in January and the creation of lawn space, shared-use paths, river access path and landscaping.

Although the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has affected most people’s lives, it evidently has not affected Dublin’s 2021-2025 five-year capital-improvements program.

Dublin City Council members approved the plan, which is a five-year outlook of sorts for project planning and budgeting, at their Sept. 28 meeting.

Matt Stiffler, Dublin’s director of finance, said the pandemic has not affected the CIP because the types of funds that fuel it – income-tax revenue and other revenue based on property value, such as tax-increment-financing service payments and property taxes – have been resilient since the pandemic began.

Stiffler said $237.6 million has been programmed for the CIP over the five-year period. 

One of the included projects, an expansion of Coffman Park, will occur in 2022, he said.

The CIP has $670,000 dedicated to the project for 2021 and $2.2 million in 2022, he said.

Matt Earman, Dublin’s parks and recreation director, said the expansion project would add a bank of eight pickleball courts to the west of the restrooms building. The addition is based on several requests from pickleball enthusiasts, he said.

Dublin public-affairs officer Lindsay Weisenauer said the pickleball courts hopefully would be completed this year, depending on weather.

Traditional and platform tennis courts are in the CIP for 2022, she said.

The CIP also includes funding to complete the rest of Riverside Crossing Park along the Scioto River in the Bridge Street District.

Stiffler said about $5.9 million has been programmed for that initiative.

Work is ongoing at Riverside Crossing Park.

Earman said the city is about 50% complete with the upper plaza on the east side of the river and park.

“We anticipate opening the pavilion and restrooms by the end of this year,” he said. 

The city will begin building the lower plaza in early January and will continue to build the lawn space, shared-use paths, river access path and landscaping, Earman said.

Sidewalk extensions, reforestation and additional paths on the west side of the river are also planned for 2021, he said. 

In addition to the focus on recreation, the CIP also includes funding for transportation projects.

The city is beginning to acquire land for the realignment of Shier Rings Road, known as the second phase of University Boulevard, Stiffler said.

The goal is to be under contract for construction by February, he said.

This year, $2 million was budgeted for that project, and $10.2 million is budgeted for 2021, he said. 

According to the CIP, Shier Rings Road will be upgraded from two lanes to a four- to five-lane road divided with a median from Eiterman Road to Avery Road.

A roundabout may be installed at Eiterman and Shier Rings.

About 1,400 feet of Shier Rings will be affected, and 3,500 feet of a new roadway, University Boulevard, will be built, according to the CIP.

Shier Rings at Avery is another spot designated for improvement.

This year, $2 million was budgeted for land acquisition and project design and $7 million is budgeted for construction in 2021, Stiffler said.

According to the CIP, the project includes design and construction of a multilane roundabout at the intersection and the relocation of Old Avery Road to maintain access to commercial businesses.

Another project, the Franklin Street extension, has $2.6 million dedicated toward it in 2022, Stiffler said.

According to the CIP, Franklin Street will be extended 480 feet between Bridge and North streets. The project will add a new traffic signal on Bridge Street.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah