Newark Downtown Revitalization
City of Newark
Downtown Revitalization Plan Delivers Better Roads and Path to Growth
When the City of Newark, Ohio began a substantial downtown sewer renovation project that would demolish the streets around the city’s central town square, it reached out to OHM Advisors to also address worsening issues with chaotic traffic circulation, unsafe pedestrian crossing conditions, insufficient surface parking and deteriorating streetscapes. We compiled a team of experts across our transportation, architecture, landscape architecture, planning and stormwater service disciplines to craft a comprehensive vision plan. They found that the town square—the hundred-year-old site of Newark’s historic courthouse and multiple city offices—lacked not only modern traffic patterns, clear wayfinding, and safe travel paths for pedestrians and drivers, but also a sense of place.
Working with the community to fulfill its vision, our team imagined a town square and surrounding area as a hub of community activity. The holistic design spanning ten city blocks reconfigured the transportation network surrounding the square and added four mini roundabouts at its corners—drastically improving circulation, calming traffic flow, and facilitating walkability. Roundabout construction utilized segments of the original brick street to maintain a historic feel and visually define crosswalks, and widened sidewalks to incorporate seating, lighting and plantings for an improved streetscape. The entire award-winning project serves as a lesson in best practices for transforming a traditional infrastructure project into a unique placemaking opportunity and economic generator for the city—resulting in a newly-interactive town square and a distinctive urban environment that is walkable, vibrant and most importantly, authentic.
Project Highlights: transportation engineering, multi-modal design, planning, landscape architecture, urban design, downtown redevelopment