City of Powell: $850,000 in street maintenance planned for summer

Jim Fischer
ThisWeek

From the heavily traveled Bennett Parkway to neighborhood streets, pavement in Powell will get an upgrade this summer. 

City Council on May 18 approved a little more than $850,000 for its 2021 street-maintenance program. Council had budgeted $1 million, but the bid from Columbus Asphalt Paving Inc. came in under that figure.

Roadwork ahead

In addition to the full length of Bennett Parkway, street resurfacing will be done in the Ashmoore, Olentangy Ridge and Lakes of Powell neighborhoods. The program also will include line painting on Grace Drive and South Liberty Street.

The work will begin in the summer and is expected to be completed by early fall, City Manager Andrew White said.

Any funds remaining will be used to address additional street-maintenance needs, White said.

Assistant city engineer Aaron Scott told council the program includes Glen Abbey Court, “the only street in the city rated as ‘failed.’”

White explained that “failed” indicates a street’s base is crumbling and the asphalt is beginning to break up in gravel-like pieces.

White said the city’s street-maintenance efforts have been underfunded in recent years in an effort to remain fiscally responsible, which has placed council in a position where it needs to “play catchup.”

“It’s a tall order but not insurmountable,” White said.

An increased budget for the 2021 street-resurfacing program and council’s desire to address pavement problems will be aided by the income-tax issue that city voters approved in May.

As council plans the next five to 10 years of street work, White said, it will be guided by a study completed earlier this year by Licking County-based Pavement Management Group.

The study, which cost the city just under $25,000, White said, is a comprehensive look at every city street. It will include an online, interactive map residents can use to see the condition of their street and when it might be part of the resurfacing program.

That map will be made available on the city’s website, https://cityofpowell.us, later this year, White said.

“The 2022 budget will be even more aggressive” in its commitment to street resurfacing, White said, adding that funds from the income tax will allow both a stronger maintenance program and some connectivity construction, as recommended as part of the 2016 Keep Powell Moving initiative.

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