Plan for Sidewalks and Path Along West Third Avenue Moving Forward
A much-needed infrastructure upgrade for a small portion of West Third Avenue just west of Olentangy River Road appears to be moving forward, more than three years after it was first proposed.
The Columbus City Council on Monday approved enabling legislation for the project, which will add a sidewalk along the north side of Third and a shared-use path along the south side, connecting existing facilities on both sides of the railroad tracks and providing a safe way for pedestrians to travel under the railroad bridge for the first time.
The northern edge of Grandview Yard – including the Giant Eagle Market District – sits just west of the tracks, but sidewalks and a path installed as part of that development do not currently extend underneath the overpass. The new project, which would involve widening the railroad bridge to make room for the improvements, would also add additional lanes to accommodate turns onto Rail Street from both directions.
Jeff Ortega, Assistant Director of the city’s Department of Public Service, said that construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in July.
Also included in the scope of the project are two new traffic signals, one at the intersection of Edgehill Road and Third and the other at the intersection of Edgehill and West Fifth Avenue. New street lights and additional landscaping and trees will also be added.
Ortega said that the project’s delay was mostly due to the difficulty of lining up funding. The city was awarded a $5 million Ohio Public Works grant for the work this year after an unsuccessful application in 2014. Grandview Yard developer Nationwide Realty Investors and the city of Grandview Heights are also contributing funds to the project.