The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the City of Whitehall are proposing to replace the existing bridge that carries Elbern Avenue over Turkey Run in the City of Whitehall, Franklin County. In order to construct the project, impacts are proposed to Robinwood Park, which is located at the corner of Elbern Avenue and Robinwood Avenue. It will be necessary to acquire approximately 0.03 acre of permanent right-of-way and 0.03 acre of temporary easement from Robinwood Park for the bridge replacement. No impacts to the recreational features of the park, including playground equipment, will occur as a result of the project. Any fencing around the park or bike racks that must be removed for construction will be re-installed prior to completion of construction. The project also proposes to improve the park by upgrading the gravel parking area on Elbern Avenue to a paved lot with marked parking stalls, and by constructing a sidewalk on the new bridge that residents can use to access the park. Access to Robinwood Park will be maintained throughout construction. Construction of the project is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2021 and be completed in the fall of 2021.
Robinwood Park is a 0.23 acre park owned by the City of Whitehall. It is open to and actively used by the public. As such, Robinwood Park is considered a recreational Section 4(f) resource under Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) Act of 1966 (23 CFR 774) and is provided protection from adverse impacts due to federal-aid transportation projects. ODOT and the City of Whitehall will implement the following measures to minimize harm to Robinwood Park:
- Access to Robinwood Park will be maintained at all times during construction activities;
- Temporary construction fencing will be installed along proposed construction limits prior to the start of construction activities to protect the existing 4(f) property and the public;
- Appropriate signage will be installed to alert users of short term closures and to direct users to additional access points;
- The staging and/or storage of construction equipment will not take place outside proposed construction limits, within the Section 4(f) property boundaries;
- The contractor will be required to closely coordinate the construction schedule with ODOT and the City of Whitehall.
ODOT and the City of Whitehall have coordinated the project’s involvement with the City of Whitehall Parks and Recreation Department (the property owner and operator). The City of Whitehall Parks and Recreation Department has concurred that the project will not adversely affect the protected recreational activities, features or attributes associated with Robinwood Park.
Due to the necessary acquisition of land associated with Robinwood Park, ODOT and the City of Whitehall are seeking public input regarding the effects to Robinwood Park. Please provide comments to Mr. Zach Woodruff, Director of Development & Public Service for the City of Whitehall, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 338-3103. Comments must be received by August 31, 2019.