The citys long-running Sixth Avenue flood abatement program has literally turned its final corner.
The $36 million project, which began near the Civic Center, has slowly worked its way up Sixth Avenue through the Liberty District, past the Public Safety building, Goldens Foundry and the Chamber of Commerce. Now it has made its way to its northern terminus and turned west onto 14th Street.
That means 14th Street will be closed to traffic between Fifth and Sixth Avenues while the storm drain comes up 14th and connects with a line on Fifth.
The project is on schedule to be completed in early fall, when all work, including street surfacing should be done, according to Deputy City Manager David Arrington.
For now, traffic coming into downtown on Linwood Boulevard and turning onto Sixth Avenue is being routed west at 15th Street.
Drivers approaching downtown from Wynnton Road are directed to go left on 10th Avenue, then right on 11th Street, or to turn right and go up to 13th Street to get into downtown. Drivers can avoid the area altogether by coming into downtown on the 13th Street viaduct.
Drivers on Wynnton can also proceed underneath the rail overpass on 11th Street and get to Columbus Recorder's Court via Seventh Avenue, or proceed west into downtown on 10th Street.
The project, which is being constructed in concert with the citys Streetscape program, was undertaken to mitigate chronic flooding in the historic Liberty District. The flooding has long been cited as one reason for the districts persistent blight and lack of private investment in revitalization.
The project was originally scheduled for completion this spring, but utility conflicts and weather problems pushed it back to early fall.