The Columbus City Council has approved a list of 18 projects for Phase II of its road improvement program.
Last year, the council approved a 1.1-mill ad valorem tax increase to fund a two-phase program that would essentially divide $4.5 million evenly among the city’s six wards. While Phase I dedicated roughly $3.4 million to street repaving, the $1.1 million set aside for Phase II will cover sidewalk and drainage repair, as well as one bridge replacement project at Deer Run in Ward 6.
City engineer Kevin Stafford, with Neel-Schaffer, said the city would open contractor bids for the Phase II projects on July 6 and the council could approve those bids as early as July 7. If that happens, the projects could be completed by year’s end, according to Stafford.
J5/Broaddus is serving as project manager for the road improvements. The firm’s senior project manager Robyn Eastman said the city is seeking two contractors for Phase II, one for the bridge replacement and another for the other 17 projects.
Depending on what money is left, Eastman said, councilmen from some wards might have funds available to add to their Phase I projects. He said 94 percent of the 71 designated projects for Phase I are complete.
Still, Eastman said other wards may exhaust their allotment for both phases before all their Phase II projects were complete. He didn’t specify which wards, but he said completing all 18 Phase II projects depended on the contractor bids.
“Some councilmen might have to choose which (Phase II) projects from the list they want the most because some of those projects might not get done,” Eastman said. “If they get really good prices, though, they might be able to get all of it done.”
According to the list, Ward 1 could see six projects completed, including sidewalk and drainage improvements and widening Matilda Road.
Councilman Gene Taylor, who represents Ward 1, said those projects would improve safety and quality of life in those neighborhoods.
“Sidewalks are definitely a safety issue for kids walking up and down those streets,” Taylor said. “This will be very vital to those neighborhoods.”
Overall, Taylor said the results of the city’s road improvement program are already speaking for themselves, especially since he said citizens have long complained about potholes and poor road conditions. Further, he said he hopes it will help Columbus recruit more retail development.
“I think this is one of the smartest decisions we’ve ever made as a council,” Taylor said.
The full list of projects includes:
■ Fourth Street South, from 10th Avenue South to 15th Avenue South, sidewalk repair and ADA ramp installation/improvements
■ Ninth Avenue South ditch improvement, from 11th Street South to Ninth Avenue South, additional erosion control measures for existing ditch
■ 11th Avenue South drainage improvement, from Seventh Street South to Eighth Street south, installing new pipe in the existing ditch
■ Fifth Street South, from 10th Avenue South to 15th Avenue South, construct new sidewalk
■ 10th Avenue South, from 11th Street South to fourth Street South, construct new sidewalk
■ Matilda Drive, from Highway 69 to the end of the road, widen paved roadway, drainage improvements
■ Drainage repair, from King Street to Idlewild Road, remove and replace curb, drainage repairs
■ Florence Ditch Extension, from Airline Road to Beech Street, improve existing ditch (widen and add concrete line)
■ Kennel Road, from North Gravel Road to South Gravel Road, pave existing gravel road
■ Browder Street, from Hemlock to Maxwell Lane, sidewalk repair and ADA ramp installation/improvements
■ 12th Street North, from Eighth Avenue North to Third Avenue North, sidewalk repair and ADA ramp installation/improvements
■ 14th Avenue North, from Military Road to the railroad, detectable warning installation
■ 15th Street North, from Fifth Avenue North to 14th avenue North, sidewalk repair and ADA ramp installation/improvements
■ 11th Street North, from Main Street to Seventh Avenue North, ADA ramp installation/improvements
■ Deer Run, bridge replacement
Wards 2 and 4 (shared projects)
■ College Street/Second Avenue South, from Fifth to Sixth Street South, ADA ramp installation/improvements
■ College Street/Second Avenue South, from Sixth Street South to 15th Street South, ADA ramp installation/improvements
■ 11th Street South, from Main Street to Sixth Avenue South, sidewalk repair and ADA ramp installation/improvements
Zack Plair is the managing editor for The Dispatch.