Columbus Project Puts River Front and Center
The ambitious $44-million Scioto Mile seeks to revive the Columbus, Ohio, riverfront as a public attraction with the addition of a park containing an amphitheater, restaurant and fountain, and an accompanying 30-ft-wide promenade, replete with a pedestrian walkway, canal fountains, a colonnade and card and chess tables.
Among other challenges, the program called for removal and offsite restoration of an 80-year-old riverfront balustrade, which was carefully restored and returned to its original position.
Other portions of the project were undertaken with sustainability in mind. While solar panels reduce dependence on grid-generated energy, bioswales allow stormwater to be filtered and drained into the Scioto River, thereby reducing pollution and corresponding strain on the city's sewer system. Bike paths were built to connect one end of the park to the other, as well as to other parks in downtown Columbus.
The project team was not only required to address the complexities of this sprawling urban project but coordinate with 16 additional projects in neighboring areas, including a new vehicle bridge over the Scioto River.
Original plans called for the completion of only the promenade. After the construction manager was selected, the Columbus Downtown Development Corp. added Bicentennial Park to the program with no corresponding changes to the schedule.
Both venues reflect careful consideration of surrounding architecture. Because the promenade lies in close proximity to historic civic buildings, it embraces more traditional forms than Bicentennial Park, whose more contemporary vocabulary recalls that of both a recently completed bridge and a signature residential tower located along the riverfront.
The project's designers and builders created mock-ups and sample boards for ornate finishes, which include bronze, cast-iron and granite. They also employed building information modeling to ensure that complex mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems didn't require rework.
Developer/Owner: Columbus Downtown Development Corp.
CM: Messer Construction Co., Columbus, Ohio
Architect: MSI-Columbus, Columbus, Ohio
Structural Engineer: Shelley Metz Baumann Hawk Inc., Columbus, Ohio
M/E/P Engineer: HAWA, Columbus, Ohio
Civil Engineer: EMH&T Inc., Columbus, Ohio
Submitted by: Messer Construction Co
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