Downtown Streetscape Project celebrates 50% completion

Blue Ash City Council voted April 12th to approve a bid for Phase 5 of the Downtown Streetscape Project, an ongoing plan to enhance downtown Blue Ash for residents, businesses and visitors. By the end of 2018, more than $4.5 million dollars will have been invested in downtown Blue Ash through the project.

Over the past 8 years, downtown Blue Ash has undergone a transformation to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment, enhance aesthetics, and support outdoor entertainment and activities. The Downtown Streetscape Project began in 2010 with a focus on improving sidewalks, crosswalks, lighting, trees, landscaping and other elements. Phase 5 includes Kenwood Road from Cooper Road, south to Ronald Reagan Highway. If budget allows, this phase may also include a decorative wall at the southwest corner of Kenwood and Cooper Roads. There are three additional phases anticipated. 

Here is a look back at some of the changes in celebration of the start of Phase 5:

Downtown sidewalks in 2011
Downtown sidewalks in 2011

Downtown sidewaks today

2010 SIGNAL PICS (37)
Downtown traffic signasl in 2010

Downtown traffic signals today

The Downtown Streetscape project has included:

  • New traffic signals and crosswalks that are safer, more efficient and visually appealing
  • Concrete sidewalks with a decorative strip that are safer for pedestrians and cost-effective
  • Re-location of lighting to provide a clear pathway and ample light for pedestrians

Many of these changes were necessary to remain in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project is also environmentally-conscious and incorporates silva cells to promote healthy street trees. The silva cell system, which is underground, allows the trees to grow roots past the cell itself instead of being confined. The cell system is also topped with pervious concrete, allowing the storm water into the ground to provide natural filtration.

The project also includes beautiful landscaping that will mature over the next few years, as well as the continuation of the decorative flower baskets. While some of the decorative walls were removed due to deterioration, other walls will be refinished. Future plans may also include creating a “gateway” into the City through special signage or other details.