Bridge work wrap-up in May

City officials are targeting a May completion date for the $2.1 million first phase of the State Street Revitalization Project.

The initial phase of the project centers on the Haw Creek Bridge, connecting downtown Columbus and the east side of the city. Construction crews are planning to work on the bridge deck this week and hope to pour concrete, depending on weather conditions, said Dave Hayward, the city’s executive director of public works/city engineer.

A 10-foot walk path is being installed on the north side of the bridge, with two feet being added to the back of the railing on the bridge to accommodate a walking path, Hayward told the State Street Implementation Team on Monday during a project update meeting.

The first phase was originally scheduled to be completed in November, but delays in getting materials from suppliers pushed completion into this year, redevelopment director Heather Pope said.

The State Street project, which will be completed in phases, was launched July 1, 2014, as part of the city’s comprehensive plan.

Features along the State Street corridor will match the look of other significant areas of Columbus, including downtown, when the project is completed.

For example, the city plans to use the same type of pavers that are along Washington Street. They will be able to be seen in the gateway area and at each of the ramps along the northern side of State Street from Central to Indiana avenues. In addition, pavers also will be used along the multi-use trail to provide a visual barrier between the edge of the trail and the road.

The city also plans to use red for the vertical elements of the bridge to match the Robert N. Stewart Bridge on Jonathan Moore Pike and the Interstate 65 bridge.

The project’s second phase, estimated to cost $3 million to $4 million, will result in new six-foot-wide pedestrian sidewalks on the south side of the bridge, along with an eight-foot multi-use trail on the north side with decorative elements.

The final phase will be an urban trail from Mill Race Park, in the downtown riverfront area, along Fifth Street all the way to the east side of the city. The path will direct walkers and bicyclists past some of the city’s most well-known architectural landmarks, including First Christian Church and the Bartholomew County Public Library. It will then head south along California Street to Third Street, where it intersects with State Street. From there, the redevelopment corridor continues east along State Street to near Mapleton Street on the east side.

That part of the project is estimated to cost $5 million to $6 million. No timeline has been established.

Last July, the Columbus Redevelopment Commission modified the State Street project to add the linked urban trail from Mill Race Park to the city’s eastside.

In an earlier interview, Lienhoop said after the Haw Creek bridge is completed, he is interested in pursuing the proposed corridor from the downtown Columbus riverfront area to the east side, linking the bridge project to downtown.

“I think if you look at a map and see this — there’s a bridge and a little bit of pavement, but what does it connect to?” Lienhoop said. “It’s important for us to not leave that unconnected. We want to connect it to something. Downtown would be a reasonable first step.”

The first part of the project is being funded through proceeds from city’s Central Tax Increment Financing District, but funding sources for subsequent phases are yet to be decided, Pope said.

What's next

The first phase of work on State Street is expected to be finished by May.

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