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City Council hears latest plan for State Street

The Columbus City Council heard the latest on the plan to improve the State Street Corridor.

Director of Planning, Jeff Bergman, explained that it would be in the city's best interest to work with Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to insure that tax dollars, state, local and federal, are spent wisely. He says INDOT is preparing to do overlay work on the stretch of State Street that was not worked on during the last project a few years ago. Bergman explained that what is being suggested for the area now is the product of a lot of work and discussions with stakeholders and INDOT.

City Councilman Ryan Brand expressed concerns that there is a rush to approve the project and get it started. He told the rest of the council that the city needs to slow down and make sure all of the details are just right. Brand says he is worried that the city is going to spend money on amenities it does not need, or are sub-par.

There are specific concerns about the width of all-purpose trails that are being planned for the area. Current plans call for paths that are eight-feet wide. Local cyclists have indicated that the paths need to be at least ten-feet wide. Anything less would result in them not utilizing the new trails, they say.

There also seems to be some confusion on the council as to what INDOT is willing to do, and when. Brand said that he has been speaking with INDOT representatives in Indianapolis who have expressed a willingness to delay the project. Harry Maginity, the spokesman for INDOT's Seymour District, says there are no delays planned. He told the council that this is a district project, with district designs.  

As it now stands, Maginity says their is a November deadline for bidders, with plans to award contracts in December. He adds that overlay work and the installation of new, ADA-compliant ramps are scheduled to begin in the spring.

The council took no action Tuesday night, as the State Street Corridor Plan was merely a discussion item. It is expected to come up again at the next council meeting, set for Sept. 2.
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 3:20:15 PM

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