The Columbus Redevelopment Commission can now move forward on the the long-awaited State Street revitalization project after it received permission to spend more than $2 million on the project’s first phase.

Columbus City Council members gave unanimous approval Tuesday night to allow the redevelopment commission to spend nearly $2.2 million on renovations to the Haw Creek Bridge. Although the State Street revitalization is a project of the city redevelopment office, the council is required to approve all commission expenditures exceeding $500,000.

With the council’s approval, United Consulting, the engineering firm hired to design the renovations to the State Street corridor, can proceed with its plan to completely redesign the Haw Creek Bridge leading into the intersection of Second, Third and State streets and Central Avenue.

The bridge improvements will focus on increasing pedestrian safety by widening the existing pedestrian zone on the north side of the bridge from 5 feet to 10 feet, and widening the sidewalk on the south side from 4 feet to 6 feet, Christine Eaton, a representative from Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf, the architectural firm working with United, told council members Tuesday night.

The engineering firm’s plan also calls for new barriers and railings to be installed along either side of the bridge to protect pedestrians and cyclists, including a 54-inch cable railing system along the bridge’s border with the water.

The barriers will be standard barriers approved by the Indiana Department of Transportation, but with one twist, Eaton said — they will be powder coated red to match the color of the existing Second and Third Street bridges downtown.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5712.