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Infrastructure Update: What to Expect During Construction
Download Update [PDF]

Eric MacGilvray, Mayor; emacgilvray@riverleaohio.com

As most of you know, the Village of Riverlea will be overhauling its physical infrastructure next year, including a complete replacement of our streets and curbs, a complete replacement of our water and gas lines, and substantial repairs and upgrades to our storm sewer system. The project design is nearly complete, and we'll be soliciting bids starting in late October. Construction will begin in early 2018, as soon as weather permits, and should take about 10 months to complete.

Needless to say, this work will cause temporary but significant disruptions to traffic patterns, home access, and availability of utilities. The purpose of this newsletter is to describe what those disruptions will look like, to encourage residents to provide the Village with reliable contact information so that we can provide timely updates about work in your area, and to invite you to let us know about any special needs or concerns involving you and your property. There will be a public forum to discuss these issues at 1:00 this Sunday, September 24, at the Circle Park on West Riverglen Drive. We strongly encourage everyone to attend.

What work is being done and how will it affect me?

The work will be done in three stages: (1) water lines, gas lines, and storm sewers; (2) curbs and driveway aprons; and (3) street base and surface. All work will be done between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm from Monday to Saturday in accordance with Village ordinances.
  1. Water lines, gas lines, and storm sewers

    Much of the water line work will take place within the Village right of way, which is the strip of land behind the curb line of each property that the Village has a legal right to use for public purposes. The Columbus Division of Water has strict rules about where water lines can be placed, with mandatory setbacks from existing water and gas lines, sewers, and curbs. In many areas the right of way is the only available place to put the new lines consistent with those rules. Specifically, the new water lines will run within the right of way (i.e. in people's front yards) at:
    Beverly Place: North side of the street
    Dover Court: West side of the street
    Falmouth Court: West side of the street
    Frontenac Place: North side of the street
    Melbourne Place: North side of the street
    Olentangy Blvd: West side of the street
    Riverglen Drive:
    South side of the street between Crescent Ct. & Circle Park (##35 - 215)
    North side of the street at Circle Park (##222 - 236)
    South side of the street just west of Circle Park (##259 & 275)
    Southington Ave:
    North side of the street just off High Street (#20)
    South side of the street between Crescent Ct. & Dover Ct. (##65-223, #275)
    In all other areas the lines will run under the street.

    Main lines location map.

    [Download Adobe .pdf file version of the map [PDF]] -- [View online a larger image of the map]

    On the affected properties a 3-foot wide, 6-foot deep trench will be dug a few feet inside the curb line to hold the new water lines. Before the end of the year you will need to remove any landscape elements within the affected area (about 10 feet from the curb in most cases) that you want to save; for example, plantings, decorative stones, lampposts, sprinkler systems, and invisible fences. You can replace them after the work has been completed. The two exceptions are driveways and walkways, which the contractor will repair or replace in kind as necessary. The contractor will re-grade and re-seed all areas where construction has taken place.

    Every effort will be made to protect large trees and other non-movable landscape elements within the affected portions of the right of way; however in a handful of cases this won't be possible. The Village will contact you if yours is one of the properties where this is the case. It's likely that the water to each home will be turned off for a few hours when service is transferred to the new system. We'll post an advance notice when this happens.

    Columbia Gas is taking advantage of our infrastructure project to replace their distribution system in Riverlea. Most of this work will be done underground via directional drilling, with shallow excavations at intersections within the right of way. However Columbia Gas will also be replacing the service lines to each property, and relocating gas meters to the exterior front or side of the house. They will work directly with residents to coordinate this work. As with the water lines, it's likely that the gas to each home will be turned off for a few hours when service is transferred to the new system. We'll post an advance notice when this happens. Most of the storm sewer work will take place in and under the streets, so the impact on residents should be minimal. Some streets may be temporarily reduced to one-lane traffic.

  2. Curbs and driveway aprons

    Once the underground work has been completed, removal and replacement of curbs and driveway aprons will begin. As with the water lines this will involve construction within the Village right of way, and again you will need to remove any landscape elements within the affected portions of the right of way (about 5 feet from the curb) that you want to save and replace them after the work has been completed.

    In addition, all of the driveway aprons in the Village will be replaced so that they tie in with the new curb elevations. On average the new aprons will be five feet deep, although in some cases the work will extend further back into the driveway to ensure a smooth grade into the street. You may not be able to use your driveway for 7-10 days while the new apron is curing. During this time you will need to relocate your vehicles – for example, by parking them on the street or in a neighbor's driveway – or make alternative transportation arrangements.

  3. Street base and surface

    The last phase of construction will be the replacement of the streets. This will be done in two stages. The first will involve the reconstruction of the street base. Our engineer has recommended a process called pavement base reclamation, which is more cost effective and more environmentally friendly than a traditional excavation and reconstruction. The existing street base will be ground up to a depth of about a foot and a half, then injected with a cement stabilizer to create a solid base. After the new base has cured a 4½-inch asphalt layer will be applied to the top to create a smooth driving surface.

    This process will directly affect local areas (e.g. a given side street or a given section of one of the main thoroughfares) for about 2 weeks at a time, depending on the weather. At least one lane of each street will remain open at all times except during the placement and curing of the street base. Temporary ramps will be used to maintain access to driveways. Two-way traffic will be maintained via detours (e.g. from Riverglen to Southington or vice versa), or by using flag signalers to control traffic in each direction. You will not be able to use your driveway for up to 4 days while the new street base in front of your property is curing. During this period you will again need to relocate your vehicles or make alternate transportation arrangements.

How will I know when work is being done that affects my property?

The contractor will be in constant contact with Village officials about the work schedule, and we'll do our best to keep the website updated with the latest information. However it's the nature of this kind of work that last-minute adjustments will sometimes need to be made. It's therefore essential that we have a reliable way to contact you quickly to keep you informed about what's going on in your area. Use this Riverlea Resident Contact Information link to add your contact information to our database. We will use emails and text messages only to circulate important and time-sensitive information.

What if I have special needs?

The contractor and the Village will work with residents who need special accommodations for accessibility, for example because of a physical disability. However in order to do so we need to know who those residents are and what the nature of the accommodation is. If you have a need for special accommodation, or if you have a neighbor who you think may have a need, please contact me or a member of Village Council so that we can let the contractor know.

What about our taxes?

As most of you know, in 2016 the Village was awarded a large grant and a zero-interest loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission, which will significantly reduce the cost of this project. We therefore expect that property owners in Riverlea will see substantial tax relief in 2018. We won't know the exact amount of the tax cut until we get the bids back and award a contract, so stay tuned until later in the year.

Again, there will be a public forum to discuss these issues at 1:00 this Sunday, September 24, at the Circle Park on West Riverglen Drive. We strongly encourage everyone to attend. We'll hold a second public forum in early January once the contract has been awarded to give everyone a chance to meet and ask questions of the contractor. 2018 will be a bumpy year in Riverlea, but we can all look forward to significant improvements to our everyday quality of life and to the long-term future of the Village.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation and patience.