Reynoldsburg Council hears update in Rosehill Road project

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Plans for the $6.35 million Rosehill Road reconstruction project in Reynoldsburg are continuing to move forward.

At the Feb. 4 meeting of the Reynoldsburg City Council’s safety committee, City Engineer Jim Miller explained the evolution of the project, which will involve reconstructing and widening the existing two-lane section of roadway into a three-lane roadway between East Main Street and Rosedale Avenue.

Plans include the installation of curbs and gutters, as well as an enclosed storm drainage system to manage and improve an on-going storm drainage problem in the area.

"These plans were prepared in 2000," he said regarding the original engineering work on the project. "They were never signed. The project was shelved due to lack of funding."

Miller said after making some changes to the original plan, including the addition of a 6- foot-wide leisure path on the east side of Rosehill Road from the elementary school south to Main Street, grants were awarded to pay for the majority of the project.

"That section of the project strengthened the application enough to get it funded," Miller said.

The Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) awarded the city $5.6 million in funding for the Rosehill Road reconstruction project, which includes a grant for $4.12 million and a zero-percent interest loan for $1.48 million. An additional contribution of $750,00 from the Franklin County engineer’s office will pay for the remainder of the project.

The city applied for grants for this project three times since 1997, and was denied twice previously.

Miller said construction is slated to occur between March and November, 2009, and he is seeking council’s approval for a new engineering study to be done soon.

"So it will be ready for construction in 2009," he said. "We recommend we start the design work in March."

Projected costs for the engineering study include: Brice Road from Main Street north to the city limits, $62,000; Bridgestone Drive from Rodebaugh Road to Daugherty Drive, $52,000; Timbermill Way from Brice Road to Needlewood Lane, $152,000; Laird Avenue from Ives Avenue to Hammond Road, $61,000; Hammond Drive from Clymer to Laird Avenue, $47,000; Clymer Drive from Hentz Drive to Hammond Road, $98,000; and Dawn Drive from Kingsley Drive to Glencrest Drive, $63,000.

Councilman Doug Joseph asked for more details about the leisure path on the east side of Rosehill Road from the elementary school south to Main Street, noting some residents expressed concerns about encroachment onto their properties.

"Could you talk more about why we should keep it and the ramifications if we don’t?" he wondered.

Miller agreed that there has been some concern over the amount of pavement that would consume their front yards.

"There is a big misconception over the loss of square footage in people’s yards," he said. "With the construction of the leisure path it takes this four-foot sidewalk and adds two feet toward the road … The tree lawn that was six-feet, six-inches now becomes four-feet, six-inches."

Miller cautioned that if the scope of the project is reduced, the Public Works Commission will probably not be pleased.

"Scope changes will and may be approved, but they don’t like to do that," he said. "Then we run the risk of being penalized on our next application."

Councilman Mel Clemens wondered who will be responsible for the maintenance of the leisure path – the city or the residents.

"That is a question that is yet to be answered," Miller said. "It is my opinion that it would be the responsibility of the city since it is meant for bicycles … It is a little bit of a gray area."

Joseph asked if Reynoldsburg is to construct a sidewalk on the west side of Rosehill Road adjacent to residents inside the city of Columbus’ corporation limits.

Miller said a meeting with the Columbus Division of Transportation will be scheduled to request approximately $40,000 in funds for the construction of this segment of the sidewalk, which is approximately 2,160 feet long.

"I have spoken to Columbus," he said. "Although they have given me no firm commitment, it looks positive."

Councilman Fred Deskins asked how the reconstruction project would affect the surface water problem in the Matterhorn Drive area.

"Rosehill Road has no curbs or gutters," Miller replied. "Water flows over the road, across the street and in the yards of property adjacent to Matterhorn Drive."

He continued, "Placing curbs and gutters on Rosehill Road is going to improve the drainage by two-thirds."

The committee agreed to place the matter on hold until the next committee meeting, which will be held Feb. 19, to further investigate the question of who will be responsible for the maintenance of the leisure path.

In other news, the finance committee:

•Agreed to recommend the appointment of Luke Haire, the city’s planning administrator, to the Licking County Tax Incentive Council for an unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2009.

•Postponed discussion of approval of two appointments to the Civil Service Commission. They expect to discuss the issue at the next committee meeting.

•Agreed to recommend adding UBS as an approved broker/dealer for city funds. City

Auditor Richard Harris said utilizing UBS will allow the city to receive better prices. "The percentages and everything will not change," he said. "But if we want to add a different vendor, we have to seek council’s approval." The matter was sent forward to council for further consideration.

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