After months of disruption along the Sixth Avenue corridor in downtown Columbus, the $36 million flood abatement project is nearing completion, according to Director of Engineering Donna Newman.
Eleventh Street east of Sixth Avenue, which includes the rail underpass, has been reopened, restoring a popular east-west corridor into and out of downtown. And Sixth Avenue itself is open to traffic from Victory Drive to 14th Street, just a block from the project’s terminus at 15th.
“The goal is to have the streets completely open by the end of the year,” Newman said.
In the near future, Ninth Street from Sixth to 10th Streets will be closed to remedy some settling problems, but Newman said she did not expect that to take more than a few weeks.
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“Where they went in there’s been some settling because of all the heavy truck traffic,” Newman said. “We’re going to go in and patch those areas that have settled, now that most of the heavy construction is over with.”
All that remains after that is putting down the final layer of blacktop, painting traffic lines, landscaping and erecting streetlights and traffic signals, she said.
The project, which is being financed through the 1999 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, is intended to relieve recurring flooding, especially in the Liberty District.
The project was originally intended to be completed in the early fall, but the city saw the wettest summer on record this year, stalling construction often.