Home Environment Columbus Road, Lancaster Street to Receive Makeover

Columbus Road, Lancaster Street to Receive Makeover

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Athens City Council continued its campaign for bad roads around Athens when At-Large Rep. Elahu Gosney introduced an ordinance to improve conditions on Columbus Road and Lancaster Street.

The infrastructure improvement project is a multi-faceted program. The ordinance, once approved and signed by Mayor Paul Wiehl, would permit the city to send a surveying team to evaluate the current conditions of the two streets. The survey team is only the first step.

“It is always a good idea to bring in a survey team, just to make sure that the job will be done correctly,” said Gosney. “They will find the property lines affected, where the current infrastructure is and what improvements can be made to update the city utilities there.”

The project will run from the intersection of Mound Street and Lancaster Street and down along Columbus Road all the way to state Route 33, a length of almost approximately two miles.

“This is a major gateway to the town,” said Gosney. “It is always a good idea to have the gateways to the city in good repair. Several of the city’s ‘gateways’ have already been improved: West Union Street, Richland Avenue and State Street are good examples of the city taking care of its exits and entrances.”

The length of the road will be repaved and maintenance will be done on the sidewalks.

“The city has a master plan detailing bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly routes. This project gives us the opportunity to address both that plan and current driving conditions,” Gosney said.

In addition to fixing the current state of the road, the project will also confront additional infrastructure conditions.

According to 4th Ward Rep. Christine Knisely. the ordinance will help with the road conditions as well as the curbs, sewer lines and water lines along Columbus Road..

Gosney said the project will also fix storm drains, pedestrian crosswalks and several of the water lines in the area.

The project is one of the biggest for city council this year.

“It is not a kind of project we can afford every year,” said Gosney. “The survey team will tell us what the estimated cost will be, but council has made estimates and have taken the cost into consideration. It is a very important project, not just for the road conditions, but it also helps with Athens’ self-image.”

Gosney did not comment on the exact figures the project would cost, but was confident that it was well worth spending.

The council has a list of roads that are considered as priorities in regards to annual maintenance and repaving. This year’s projects are “just about finished.”

“We have had to delay the process for now, but only because of weather. The city’s Engineering and Public Works office has a list that are rated by how often they are used, and they receive maintenance first,” said Gosney. “The Columbus Road project is very sizable, but is very necessary.”



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