Main Street makeover: Streetscape among summer road projects in Reynoldsburg

Kelley Rodriguez
ThisWeek
Joe Begeny

Main Street’s multi-million-dollar makeover kicks off this spring with the first of two phases of construction in the Olde Reynoldsburg area.

The city plans to use a combined $4 million in grants and zero-interest loans from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) to pay for the project, which is estimated to cost $7.8 million in total.

City Council last month awarded a $3.61 million contract to Complete General Construction for streetscape improvements along Main Street between Davidson Drive and Jackson Street, the project’s first phase.

Increasing walkability and improving landscaping, lighting and parking in Olde Reynoldsburg were among the goals identified in the city's 2018 comprehensive plan. Officials hope to make the area a "downtown destination" by expanding retail and gathering spaces similar to communities such as Bexley and Old Worthington. 

“Creating a pedestrian friendly environment on Main Street will allow greater connectivity for residents and guests to the many restaurant and shopping opportunities available now as well as to attract new businesses to help revitalize the entire area,” Mayor Joe Begeny said.

Drive lanes will shrink from 16 feet to 12 feet in width in order to widen sidewalks and slow traffic for a more pedestrian-friendly downtown. Clay-brick sidewalk pavers, limestone benches, decorative street lighting and median plantings will be added.

More than 100 on-street parking spaces will be added when both phases are complete, officials said.

Construction also will replace a 90-year-old storm sewer under the road.

A second phase planned for spring 2022 will complete the streetscape from Jackson Street east to the Waggoner/Graham intersection, at an estimated $3 million.

Council last month approved a $339,795 contract with EMH&T for survey, design engineering and bid services for the second phase.

Reynoldsburg was awarded a $1.49 million grant for both phases, for a total of more than $2.98 million in state funding.

The city also was awarded a $502,000 interest-free loan for each phase, to be repaid over 23 years, according to council documents.

“Our goal is to maximize the taxpayers’ dollars in any project we begin, and the OPWC funding was very important to reduce the overall cost to the city while still achieving our goals,” Begeny said. 

The remaining money comes from the city’s capital-improvements fund. Voters in 2017 approved raising the city’s income-tax rate to 2.5% as a way to generate additional revenue for the community center and infrastructure needs.

In a separate project, the Ohio Department of Transportation will repave the same stretch of Main Street in 2021.  

Columbia Gas has been relocating its facilities along Lancaster Avenue and Main Street in anticipation of the project, so drivers should expect to see lane closures as a result.

Construction work is expected to ramp up in late June, Begeny said.

Street program approved

City Council also approved more than $1 million in contracts related to the 2021 street program.

The city awarded a $1.5 million contract to Strawser Paving for milling and repaving on Bergenia, Fallriver, Linick, Priestly, and Taylor Mills drives and the parking lots at JFK Park, 7232 E. Main Street, and the Livingston House, 1792 Graham Road.

The city is expected to make about $30,000 in sidewalk repairs in conjunction with its annual street-maintenance program, so work can be done simultaneously.  

Under Ohio law, municipalities may repair sidewalks and assess the cost to property owners, who are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks directly abutting their properties. 

Property owners who are required to make repairs will receive a notice from the city; those do not make the repairs will be included in the city’s contract and will have the option to pay Reynoldsburg directly or have costs assessed on their property taxes.

The city will post road closure and traffic delay information on its website and social-media channels.

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