Broad Street Gets New Makeover With Sidewalks & Wider Road

on Monday, 20 May 2013.

Thanks to the generous donation of easement property from 19 local businesses



An area of far west Columbus is fighting back to become vibrant once again.

In the shadow of the new Hollywood Casino, Broad Street from Interstate 270 to nearly Wilson Road will see a major facelift. Thanks to generous business owners, construction is already under way.

Business leaders said the Broad Street and Georgesville Road area hit rock bottom in 2005, and too many businesses fled for greener pastures.

Now, both empty storefronts and active businesses will be getting a wider road, new sidewalks, traffic and street lights, all in an effort to revitalize the area.

"We are at the very beginning stages. A lot more things are left to do to bring the area back to where it needs to be," said Stephen Torsell, director of Homes on the Hilltop.

Torsell said empty storefronts and a mall are the first thing people see when they visit the area.

Now, with a nearly $5 million infusion of funds, Broad Street will be widened from four to six lanes. New traffic and street light will be installed, along with new sidewalks.

"It is not unusual to see people in wheelchairs rolling down West Broad Street, not the safest thing," Torsell said.

Thanks to the generous donation of easement property from 19 local businesses, the construction started early and will finish earlier.

Also, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation, the project will cost less.

"It is going to change the face of this area, this community. It is going to put a brighter face on this community and lead to new things in the future," said Jerry Wray, of ODOT.

Tee Jaye's Country Place has been a staple in the area since the 1980s.

"The opportunity is here if someone has the backbone, the money and the drive to do it," said Ronald Rowe, of Tee Jay's.

Rowe said that just the addition of new sidewalks will make a huge difference.

"You've got bus routes here and no sidewalks," Rowe said.

Tee Jaye's is one of the businesses that donated land, and so is Jeff Block.

"We've had property on the west side for 40-plus years and we have always been positive, even when the Delphi plant closed. We have always kept a very positive attitude, and things are starting to happen," Block said.

Business owner Chris Haydocy said the community has to do more to switch from the most vacant side of town to the most vibrant.

Construction on the project is scheduled to be finished by November.