On the side: 25th Street work on side path could wrap up soon

Mike Wolanin | The Republic A view of the people path being constructed parallel to 25th Street near Fairlawn Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ind., Friday, May 23, 2024.

Both lanes of westbound 25th Street should be open to traffic within a few weeks after several weeks of construction.

Since early April, nearly one mile of the lane next to the curb has been off-limits from Fairlawn Drive to Talley Road for the installation of a 10- to 12-foot wide path for walkers, runners, bicyclists and other non-motorized traffic, Columbus City Engineer Andrew Beckort said.

“It isn’t exactly a People Trail,’ Beckort said. “It’s more of a sidepath.”

A sidepath is a bidirectional shared use path located immediately adjacent and parallel to a roadway.

While Beckort said he’s hopeful work can be completed within a week, on-site spokesman Daniel McGuire of Dave O’Mara Construction of North Vernon said construction may continue along 25th Street for up to two more weeks.

“It all depends on the weather,” McGuire said.

Project engineers had no choice but to stop the path at Fairlawn because there was no right-of-way in front of the commercial properties between Fairlawn and Taylor Road, Beckort said.

However, the Columbus Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) announced in April 2023, that Talley Road will be widened and improved between 25th Street and Rocky Ford Road. A section of side path will go up on the west side of Talley Road and connect to an existing path, Beckort said.

While the path stops at Fairlawn Drive, pedestrians and bicyclist can use several residential streets off Fairlawn, such as 26th and 29th streets, to continue to Taylor Road.

For those trying to reach a People Trail, they may use 31st Street, which eventually turns into 30th Street, before it runs into Everroad Park East. The housing addition only one block east of Haw Creek, and an extension of the People Trail is located on the other side of the river.

The original contract with O’Mara was signed July 18, 2023, for $725,000, the city engineer said. But on May 21, the Columbus Board of Public Works and Safety increased the amount to $778,00o. The nearly $54,000 addition will enable a number of small projects along or near Talley Road that range from storm sewer improvements to tree removal.

The 25th Street sidepath was one of three projects that made up a package approved last summer that will be partially financed with a Federal Transit Administration grant.

The other two projects includes upgrades along Westenedge Drive, from Rocky Ford Road north to Parkside Drive, and along Fairlawn Drive, from Taylor Road to the Par 3 Golf Course, Beckort said.