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Jim Bennati, whose family owns a business in Uptown Westerville speaks during the public comment portion of Tuesday's City Council meeting where it heard revised plans for rebuilding streets and sidewalks in Uptown.

Bumpouts Removed From Streetscape Plan

Jim Bennati, whose family owns a business in Uptown Westerville speaks during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s City Council meeting where council heard revised plans for rebuilding streets and sidewalks in Uptown.

The latest ideas from the city planning department removed all the intersection bumpouts with the only remaining bumpouts at pedestrian crossings in front of city hall and the library and in front of the police station at the alley exit.

The planned intersection bumpouts were removed after discussion with Uptown business owners and residents and a test by the city fire department that indicated the bumpouts might be less safe during emergency runs.

Continued in the discussion was extending the sidewalk one foot into the street from Park Street to Home Street, installing new sidewalks with a decorative brick section, and adding a drain system beneath the street next to the curb.

According to the city, the new sidewalks would be ADA compliant replacing sidewalks built in 1987 that did not meet ADA requirements. 

A bumpout the length of two parking spaces was discussed in front of the Stoner House on South State to prevent continued deterioration of the historic building by winter road chemicals. Additional plans included some form of wall or barrier to keep down erosion.

Also not yet decided is crosswalk construction. Early design shows crosswalks with pavers but the cost of installation and upkeep is a concern for council members.

The council will meet next week to approve doing engineering studies for the approved changes. The request for bids would be done in the fall with the contract to be awarded in January 2019. Construction would begin in May with the completion date depending upon whether or not the city approves a contract that allows working nights and weekends to speed up the process. 

The cost is estimated to be approximately $2.96 million to $3.36 million with a $400,000 variable if the contract approves night and weekend work hours.

 

About The Author

Gary Gardiner

Former newspaper and Associated Press photographer. Instructor at Westerville Center for Photography. Owns SmallTown Stock, the Reasonably Rights Managed stock photo agency. Founder and Director for The American Scene Project, a heritage project dedicated to exhibiting and preserving photography of everyday American life.

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