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Plans finalized for West Broad Street
Franklin Township is closer to its goal of improving infrastructure along West Broad Street.
The design company, LJB Inc., submitted plans to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to improve the area east of the Interstate 270 overpass and Wilson Road.
The project is estimated at $1.9 million, said Franklin Township trustee Timothy Guyton.
According to LJB Project Manager Dan Hoying, the project would improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. It would also add road enhancements.
The project calls for improved storm sewers and gutters, and a shoulder that functions as a bike lane. The roadway and sidewalks would be widened.
Trees would be planted along the corridor to create canopies and transit turnouts would be installed.
A historical marker is planned at Georgesville Road and West Broad Street.
According to Guyton, the township will contribute $400,000 toward the project. The remaining $1.5 million is being funded through a state grant.
Township officials have considered the implementation of a Joint Economic District Zone (JEDZ) to cover its 20 percent role in the project. Negotiations with the city of Columbus over the annexation of the casino site could also provide funding.
Guyton said as a last resort, the township could use money from its general fund and repay it with revenue generated by the improved area. He said the project could improve property value and economic development on the Westside.
“Without funding, the project would proceed without sidewalks, bike lanes and bus pull-offs,” Guyton said. “Because of the need to increase property values and bring businesses to the Westside, we do not want this to occur. Safety and providing multiple means of transportation is the goal for this project.”
According to Hoying, the Prairie Township phase of the project is scheduled for 2015.
If Franklin Township cannot acquisition right-of-ways for West Broad Street by Jan. 1, 2012, Prairie Township’s phase would be implemented first.
Franklin Township’s portion splits into two parts. The first part would extend east of I-270 to Hollywood Boulevard. The second part would reach from Hollywood Boulevard to Wilson Road.
Don Cook, Franklin Township trustee, said both parts deserve equal improvements.
The township expects to hear if its designs were approved in November.
“This planning has been in place for some time now,” said Guyton. “I appreciate the efforts Weston Vision Group has provided, along with other elected officials and ODOT to see the urgency of having this project completed in time for the casino opening. We are looking to project the image of the Westside as an area to visit repeatedly, not one to avoid.”
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