Village planing Uptown projects for autumn


As crews in Plain City wrap up their final week of paving on Maple Street, the village is preparing to move forward on a similar project one block over.

Designs are being put together for the reconstruction of Gay Street, which could start sometime in the fall, according to Village Administrator Nathan Cahall.

He said he anticipates the funds will be available “soon.”

“OPWC (Ohio Public Works Commission) expects some money to come in from other projects very soon. The earliest it could have been here would have been a couple of weeks ago but it looks like most likely, the timeframe for available funds is fall,” Cahall said. “With all their projects going on, several can come in less than expected and the money that is left over from those will go to fund smaller projects like ours.”

The cost for the Gay Street project will be slightly less than Maple Street’s $1.3 million. Early projections for the project sit at $1.2 million.

Cahall added that once the funds are in place and available, the project should move quickly.

Although the design phase is in progress, the plan is to approach Gay Street the same way as Maple Street.

“It will be a complete reconstruction. A total replacement of all public utilities, storm water system, water system, sanitary sewer systems, curbs and sidewalks, everything,” Cahall said.

Aside from changes planned in the construction, he said the street width could also change slightly from curb to curb. The village plans to make Gay Street to a one-way road running north to south between Bigelow Avenue and West Avenue.

“That’s what we’re working on currently. It may be reduced somewhat be cause of the one-way change but we will still have on street parking available in the southbound traffic lane as it currently exists,” Cahall said. “As it stands, the timeline for the notice to proceed would be late fall.”

Another fall project is in place but with a minor change to the design.

Cahall signed the design contract for the expansion of the uptown parking area behind Lovejoy’s Plaza Monday morning. Plans will move forward as discussed minus the parking spaces owned by Ralph Smucker.

The village has been working with Smucker and other business owners Joe Craft and Buckeye Brass over the last several months to make the parking lot an open public lot after business hours on weeknights and through the weekend.

Although the village got the green light from Craft and Buckeye Brass, Cahall said they would not be moving forward with the property associated with Smucker.

“Mr. Smucker decided against the lease agreement for his parking spots behind his offices on the advice of his legal counsel,” Cahall said. “The village will still be moving forward as that portion of the lot only included three or four spaces.”

The village plans to pave the lot, update the infrastructure, add landscaping and lighting as well as a pedestrian path along the east side of the Lovejoy’s Plaza building.

Construction for the parking lot is to be done in multiple phases with the first starting this fall and with a completion time planned for early next year.

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