After two years of reconstruction, the Downtown riverfront has regained another vehicle and pedestrian crossing over the Scioto River. The Rich Street Bridge was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting this morning, which connects Town Street in Franklinton with Rich Street in Downtown Columbus.
“This new bridge finally reconnects Franklinton to Downtown Columbus and the fantastic Scioto Mile,” said Franklinton Development Association Executive Director Jim Sweeney. “We are on our way to return this neighborhood to greatness.”
In addition to the bridge itself, landscaping work has been completed along both sides of the river, which includes new planters, bike paths, green space, sidewalks, benches, lighting and more.
“In our bicentennial year, we are reconnecting Columbus’ very first neighborhood with our Downtown,” Mayor Coleman said. “The opening of the Rich Street Bridge will help create and retain jobs while revitalizing Franklinton.”
The construction of the $32 million Rich Street Bridge was managed by the Ohio Department of Transportation, utilizing $3.2 million in federal funding, $2.1 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and $4.24 million in Ohio Public Works Commission funding.
“This project is a perfect example of ODOT’s values and goals,” said Ferzan M. Ahmed, District 6 Deputy Director. “We support transportation opportunities which promote Ohio’s economy, foster economic development and enhance the quality of life while improving travel. The Rich street Bridge does all of that.”
The new Rich Street Bridge provides Downtown vehicular traffic with easier direct access to Route 315 in Franklinton. Pedestrians will also gain easier direct access between Bicentennial Park, the River South neighborhood, COSI and Genoa Park.
Photos provided by Ben Cirker.