Projects planned by city for 2017

Nearly a dozen infrastructure projects are in the works for 2017 throughout Columbus that will include road upgrades, new sidewalks and traffic signal improvements.

The city has six projects that are being federally funded and require local matches from the city. They include pedestrian crossing signal upgrades that are meant to improve intersections within the city and meet requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act, said Dave Hayward, executive director of public works/city engineer.

The pedestrian crossing projects, which together carry a price tag of $178,500, will take place at four intersections:

Eighth and Brown streets

Eighth and Lindsey streets

Gladstone Avenue and 17th Street

25th Street and Haw Creek Avenue

Work is expected to be completed by July 31, Hayward said.

Rocky Ford work

Improvements also will continue along Rocky Ford Road as part of a two-year project from Taylor to Talley roads. The former county road is being reconstructed to bring it up to city standards, Hayward said. The $6.3 million project that started earlier this year is being paid 80 percent through federal dollars, while the remaining amount is being picked up by the city.Bike lanes, curbs, gutters, storm sewers and sidewalks are planned as part of the scope of work. Three traffic lanes will be developed, with one lane in each direction being designated as turn lanes, Hayward said.

Much of the work this year has been tied to utility relocations, with a majority of the roadwork taking place in 2017. A bridge will be replaced over the winter as the project continues, he added.

Stop sign replacements

Next year, 1,300 stop signs will be replaced throughout the city, with 90 percent of the cost being paid through federal funding. Work is expected to begin in early 2017 and shouldn’t take more than a few months to complete, Hayward said.Maple Street extensionThe city expects work to start in the spring on Maple Street near Northside Middle School to extend the road since it currently dead-ends a few hundred yards near U.S. 31. For motorists turning off U.S. 31 and who want to return back onto the highway, they will be required to make right-hand turns, Hayward said.

The project, estimated at $500,000, will require Columbus to pay 20 percent of its share while the remaining 80 percent is being federally funded. Hayward said the improvements — slated to be completed by next fall — should help with traffic flow, noting that there are several schools located in the area.

“We’re hoping that resolves some traffic issues that happen every day, or at least alleviates those,” Hayward said.

Trail improvements

Children attending Parkside and Richards elementary schools will have a safer walking path tied to a Safe Routes to School project next year. Two trails will be constructed as part of the $150,000 improvement that is being funded entirely with federal money.Jim Roberts, superintendent of the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., said the path improvement projects will be helpful since the district has nearly 1,400 students who attend Parkside and Richards. The path upgrades also will provide more accessible walkways for the public, he added.

“There is without question a benefit to the school corporation,” Roberts said.

The city hopes that work can be completed before school starts next fall. In addition, the Haw Creek Trail at 25th Street will be rerouted next year as part of a joint effort between the city’s parks and recreation department, the Columbus Park Foundation and Bartholomew County. Eighty percent of the project will be federally funded.

The county has a historic truss bridge that has been in storage at Lincoln Park and will be rehabilitated as part of the project. The trail will cross Haw Creek from Lincoln Park, and then travel along the east side of Haw Creek to connect to the Haw Creek trail north of 25th Street, Hayward said.

When the project is completed, the public will be able to cross 25th Street and National Road without dealing with traffic. Work is expected to take all of next year, Heyward added.

State Street, traffic signal

Local officials will continue their work on the State Street redevelopment project. The city plans to reach out to residents on Taylor Road and Westenedge Drive next year to talk about proposed improvements targeted for the area that will take place in a few years.Hayward said an effort also will be made to improve traffic signals at different intersections.

“We’re in the process right now of implementing some signal coordination measures at Seventh, Eighth and 10th (streets) and Central Avenue, and then once we get through that, evaluate that … and that’ll be kind of our first effort to coordinate some signals,” he said.

The city will look at making adjustments to other corridors such as 25th and Washington streets to keep traffic moving there as well, Hayward said.

The first phase of a sidewalk improvement project on Marr Road, totaling $25,474, will take place early next year. It will connect existing sidewalks to new ones. Just over 600 feet of new sidewalks will be built, Hayward said.

2017 projects

Here’s a look at the types of projects the City of Columbus will tackle in 2017:

Federally funded

Pedestrian crossing signal upgrades

Rocky Ford Road improvement project

Stop sign replacements

Maple Street extension project

Safe Routes to School projects at Parkside, Richards elementary schools

Haw Creek Trail at 25th street rerouting project

Other projects

State Street redevelopment

Traffic signal improvements

Sidewalk improvement project on Marr Road

Author photo
Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or