Columbus is about to embark on the second phase of the State Street Revitalization Project.

The city is preparing to seek bids from companies to update the State Street streetscape from the Haw Creek Bridge east to Mapleton Street.

The $2.185 million first phase of the State Street project, which began in October 2016 and should be completed by May 26, centers on improvements to the Haw Creek Bridge, said Jeremy Richardson, a project designer for United Consulting Engineers and Architects who provided a project update to the Columbus Redevelopment Commission this week.

The bridge improvements are being made to increase 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, said Christine Eaton, a senior project manager and landscape architect from Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf, the architectural firm working with United Consulting on the project.

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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 ones 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.

Other design elements will be incorporated to capture the spirit of Columbus. For example, 10 vertical elements with an industrial-arts-inspired design will be attached to the outer edge of the bridge as a way of paying homage to the city’s industrial history.

Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf also created a gateway design feature that focuses on the intersection of State, Second and Third streets and Central Avenue.

The State Street intersections with Central and Second will be accented with a gear-shaped island — also known as a greenspace — as a way of once again representing the city’s ties to the industrial sector. Bollards and a retaining wall will line the right corner of the bridge, creating an overlook area for pedestrians. New crosswalks that will be installed across Central Avenue will be customized with colors and images to reflect the city’s industrial arts.

What was once listed as Phase 2 has now been divided into two sections, with the city pursuing streetscape work from the Haw Creek Bridge east on State Street to Mapleton Avenue next, Eaton said.

This phase of the project, now labeled Phase 2A, is estimated at about $2.6 million, Eaton said.

The proposed design for the State Street streetscape is an 8-foot concrete side path with a decorative brick paving strip next to the curb, which serves as a shy zone for bicyclists and walkers that the street is near. The brick pavers are the deep purple brick currently used in the Columbus downtown streetscape to carry the look into the east side, Eaton said.

Industrial arts-inspired lights and trees will be on the other side of the path, with a sculptural red wave element separating the lighting fixtures.

Two greenspace areas are included in this phase, one at Stadler Drive and State Street and the other at Indiana Avenue and State, Eaton said.

At Stadler Drive, designers plan to keep an existing Ash tree on the property, immunizing it from the Emerald Ash Borer, Eaton said.

Crushed stone paving will be placed under a grove of shade trees and puzzle benches, seating that resembles puzzle pieces, will be placed in the space under the trees. A brick paver sidewalk will go across the greenspace and a decorated crosswalk is being designed in a collaboration with Ivy Tech.

The Indiana Avenue greenspace will have the same puzzle benches, crushed stone paving and defined planting areas, Eaton said. Both spaces are designed to be low maintenance for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and Department of Public Works, she said.

If the redevelopment commission approves funding for the project, it could be bid out next month, Richardson said. The bid opening would be in April, with construction completion expected in the fall or winter of this year, he said.

The next phase of the project — now labeled 2B — would be streetscape improvements between the Haw Creek Bridge and California Street, which connects to the proposed urban trail on Fifth Street, from Lindsey to California streets, Eaton said.

The corridor improvements are designed to connect downtown Columbus seamlessly to the east side of the city through upgraded pedestrian trails and pathways and a matching streetscape that ties the two areas together.

Mayor Jim Lienhoop said the initial plan for the proposed urban trail, Phase 3, would extend to the shopping center at State and Mapleton streets, which is likely to occur in 2018, Lienhoop said.

“What we’re really trying to do is facilitate the transportation of people from east Columbus to downtown and vice versa,” he said.

He added that a goal of the project is to to generate more economic activity occurring on the east side of Columbus. Lienhoop said he would like to have the trail to bring people to Columbus East High School as part of a long-term plan.

Reporter Matthew Kent contributed to this story.

Adopt-a-Brick program

The State Street Area Association is accepting orders from people interested in purchasing a brick that can be engraved. The bricks will be placed along the State Street corridor at Indiana and State streets and at Stadler Drive.

The cost is $20 for individuals, $30 for non-profit organizations and $40 for businesses. Space is limited to two lines, with 14 characters per line. Forms for brick orders will be accepted until May 31 and can be found on the State Street Area Association’s Facebook page at facebook.com/SSAAColumbusIN/.

Checks can be made out to the State Street Area Association and sent to the Roby and America Anderson Community Center, 421 McClure Road, Columbus, IN 47201. For more information, call City Councilman Dascal Bunch at 812-343-0867.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.