Downtown Infrastructure Project - A Streetscape Unmatched
UPDATE JANUARY 2023
The Downtown Infrastructure Plan has been put on hold by Mayor Laubaugh, with support from City Council members, so the city can update the original project concept to reflect the priorities and desires of today’s citizens and businesses.
At the request of Mayor Laubaugh, the consultant who developed the original concept will be returning to Wadsworth later in the year to re-engage residents and business owners to ensure that, as the project moves forward, the plan aligns with the current ambitions of the Wadsworth Community.
After any changes are incorporated to the conceptual concepts, the next phase will have the City working with a consultant to develop detailed engineering and design plans for replacing underground utilities, including storm sewers, sanitary sewers, and water, gas, electric, and communication lines. The consultant will also prepare detailed designs for the desired above-ground amenities, including sidewalks, green spaces, landscape features, parking and street improvements. The city expects to complete the engineering/design phase in 2024 or 2025 with the construction to follow.
In 2018, the city hired a consultant to perform a year-long process to engage the public and create a plan for much needed improvements to our downtown. After several meetings with businesses, stakeholder groups, and the public and after a public survey, many ideas and suggestions were generated. The consultant used these collective community insights to develop a conceptual plan for enhancing the downtown business district. The consultant completed the plan in early 2020, but the project was held up in March 2020 as the pandemic began.
The project was readdressed annually over the past three budget cycles, each time eliciting new perspectives. Due to the magnitude of the project and the importance of achieving consensus on the direction forward, in December, the Mayor, with the support of council members, removed the engineering and design phase from the city’s 2023 budget.
After collaboration between the City of Wadsworth and community partners, we are moving forward with the exciting catalyst project from the 2017 Downtown Visioning Plan: a utility replacement and streetscape improvement plan for the downtown core. This project will include:
- Replacement of the aging waterlines, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, electric, and communications lines in Downtown Wadsworth.
- Facilitation of improvements for safety, pedestrian connectivity between downtown amenities, and efficient vehicular traffic.
- Enhancement of sidewalks, streets, and alleyways to make downtown more livable, vibrant, and a destination spot.
- Things important to our community are: unity, charm, people, walkability, vibrant businesses, outdoor spaces to enjoy
- Already very unique alleyways could be improved to enhance the downtown and connect parking lots better
- The current parking ratio/supply is appropriate for downtown.
- Parking lot locations are for the most part in advantageous locations, located behind Downtown buildings, shielding them from view, adding to a complete feel.
- Traffic flow needs to be addressed
- Lengthy pedestrian crosswalks need to be addressed
- Lane widths need to be adjusted to meet standards
- Coming into downtown, all roads have 2 lanes and expands to 4 lanes in two blocks
- With a project of this magnitude, the City could utilize many different funding sources, including utility funds, grants, street improvement funds, general funds, and assessments.
First Public Meeting 12/11/2019
On Wednesday, December 11, the City’s consultant team gave a presentation to show the progress made this year on planning infrastructure and streetscape improvements and unveiled multiple conceptual plans in order to get feedback from the community.
Second Public Meeting 1/29/2020
At the public meeting last night, the City’s consultant team gave a presentation to show the progress made over the past year on the Downtown Infrastructure Project and unveil the final conceptual designs. These final designs are based on the many layers of feedback they received from our implementation committee, downtown business and building owners, community groups and you, throughout the lengthy planning stage. We were thrilled with the number of responses we received from the recent survey that made us aware of your opinions, concerns, and ideas (you can review the results in the presentation). We sincerely thank everyone for providing this input and it showed to our consultants how uniquely engaged and passionate our community is.
As we begin the detailed design phase of the project that will last throughout 2020, we will continue to ask for your comments and feedback on various aspects. These conceptual plans will continue to evolve into the final product that we plan to begin constructing in 2021. Please feel free to let us know what you think about these final conceptual design by filling out the Community Feedback Form below and stay up-to-date on our website.
The Downtown Implementation Committee was formed to assist the City with the creation of the 2017 Downtown Visioning Plan. Comprised of community members representing a variety of backgrounds and organizations, this committee has been involved in the preliminary planning of the Downtown Improvement Project. This valuable group provides firsthand insight into the community and is guiding the development of concepts by the consultants.