Columbus, Ohio — The city of Columbus, Ohio, contracted with Woolpert to provide engineering, survey and technical expertise to improve pedestrian access to schools. The project is part of the Columbus City Council’s initiative to support and improve the safety and quality of life of city residents by installing sidewalks around schools within three urban neighborhoods.

Woolpert has been assigned the Near South neighborhood, which will improve routes for students and families attending Lincoln Park Elementary School, Livingston Elementary School and South High School in the Columbus City School District. The basic services to be provided under this contract include civil engineering for roadways, intersections and stormwater design; survey and right-of-way services; construction plan development; and landscaping details.

Nathan Fischer, Woolpert project manager, said these infrastructure improvements will make communities more walkable and improve home values, but the primary goal of the project is safety. He added that Columbus is ahead of the curve in implementing projects such as these that promote stronger, safer and healthier cities.

“Columbus has been very progressive in pursuing funding for pedestrian safety specifically and in supporting national efforts like Safe Routes to School,” said Fischer, who works on roads and bridges projects throughout the state. “Other cities of similar sizes have begun looking to Columbus to lead the way.”

Survey and engineering work for the Near South project is now underway.