Work on a road slope in Mill Creek Park will be underway in the coming weeks after the road has been closed for a year.
Park crews have been clearing the area to allow for repair work, Aaron Young, Mill Creek MetroParks executive director, said.
That project is out to bid, but park officials are anticipating slope correction to begin in early May.
A second project also is being bid, which will include repaving East Newport Drive from Crider’s Entrance to Kiwatha Road, Young said.
“Not only will the slope be addressed, but it will be new asphalt for the walkers and drivers,” Young said.
Preliminary estimated cost for the slope correction is $400,000, Young said, which would come from the capital improvement fund.
East Newport Drive has been closed to all traffic after a significant slope toward Lake Newport was discovered last year.
Park maintenance crews observed the cracking last year and went to the planning department.
Initially when the cracks were noticed, they measured about four inches. Now the cracks and slope can be measured in feet.
Engineering firm CT Consultants monitored the site and hired structural engineering firm SME of the Columbus area to also investigate what is causing the slope.
The upcoming work has aligned itself with a favorite springtime activity: the blooming of the flowers in Daffodil Meadow, located along East Newport Drive just south of the boat launch.
Park administration decided to allow access to the meadow area, while also changing the traffic pattern.
“We have shortened up the closure so people can get up to Daffodil Meadow,” Young said.
The slope is just north of the meadow.
Generally traffic is one-way along East Newport Drive, but the road has been restriped to allow two-way traffic so people can watch the flowers bloom.
“We wanted to allow park users to get to that area,” Young said.
Now, the closure is just north of the meadow parking area up to just south of the boat launch.
Park officials are asking that people heed signs and not go through the closed area.
“We don’t want to have to cite people. We are asking for voluntary compliance,” Randy Campana, chief of the park’s police department, said.
When construction starts, more law enforcement presence will be in the area, he said.
There haven’t been accidents, Young said, but it is more of a safety precaution.
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