Project Summary

The Bicentennial Commission and City of Columbus announce the seminal project for the Columbus Area Bicentennial will be the “1821” Trail extension along First Street, from the Haw Creek Trail, which ends at Lafayette Street, to Water Street.  This trail extension will also include architectural and art elements to encompass the 2021 Bicentennial theme of “Common Ground.”

The 1821 Trail will be a key addition to the Columbus Park Foundation trail system and will connect our 26 miles of trail which extends throughout the city.

In the 2020 bicentennial planning process, city and county residents participated in surveys with suggestions on projects which would celebrate the area’s legacy and encourage people to participate in bicentennial events. Enhancement and improvements of shared community assets such as the trail system was a common theme.

In addition, in 2019, the City used four avenues to get public input on needed improvements and connections in the bicycle/pedestrian networks. And, along with the Riverfront Trail connection, this section of the downtown trail was identified by a large number of respondents as the most important connection gap in the trail network, along with the completion of the Riverfront. Funding for the project will be through Columbus Redevelopment, Columbus Park Foundation and private donors.


  • January 2021: Preliminary project timeline released.
  • Spring 2021: Hitchcock Design Group (HDG) selected for this project.
  • June 2021: Columbus design group meets to discuss updated concepts, including QR codes, seating placement, gateway features, etc. and select preferred concepts. Following concept selection, Hitchcock Design Group presents project narrative, 3D video, schematic design plans for Phase I & II and renderings.
  • July 2021: Preliminary Phase I & II cost estimates received based on initial plans and renderings.
  • August 2021: A preliminary utilities timeline and bidding timeline are proposed. Groundbreaking tentatively planned for December 2021 with construction efforts to take place in January 2022. Revised cost estimates are provided.
  • September 2021: A Special CRC Meeting is held to adopt a resolution to engage HDG and American Structurepoint to complete Phase II of final design and engineering. Utilities cost estimates received. Columbus design team meets to obtain feedback on Historic Design Markers, brick orders and engraving, survey progress, trail connection and a revised bidding timeline.
  • October 2021: 100% Design Development plans, cost and specs submitted by HDG. Historical Marker materials and graphic designs discussed. Additionally, the Columbus team begins piecing together application materials for the Next Level Trails grant.
  • November 2021: Resolution No. 27-2021 approved, which allows for expending Certified Tech Park Funds for specific use on the 1821 Trail. HDG submits 100% documents and Structurepoint submits signed water main plans. Bid documents are submitted to contractors.
  • December 2021: The 1821 Trail Brick Campaign launches (see additional details below). A pre-bid meeting is held. Resolution No. 29-2021 approves funding a portion of the 1821 Bicentennial Trail from the Central Allocation Area. Contractor bids are received and opened in a public meeting. Groundbreaking is held on December 28, 2021 and the selected contractor, Dave O’Mara, is present during the groundbreaking ceremony.

Columbus 1821 Bicentennial Trail Primary Goals:

  1. To create a connection between the Columbus People Tail and the Columbus Riverwalk.
  2. To celebrate the past 200 years of the Columbus area by honoring the past, finding common ground in the present, and imagining possibilities for the future.

The first goal will be achieved by:

  • Providing a 12’ wide trail from the terminus of the People trail on Lafayette Ave. to the intersection of 1st and Water Streets.
  • Fully connecting the trail to the Columbus Riverwalk in a future phase.
  • Allowing for both bicycle and pedestrian modalities to share this amenity.
  • Featuring curb cuts and crosswalks for the safe and efficient crossings of streets.
  • Featuring intersection crosswalks, detectable warnings, paver fields, and paver bands.
  • Including a center line with pavers to help maintain two‐way pedestrian and bicycle traffic flow.

The second goal will be achieved by:

  • Creating historic markers to provide interpretive opportunities along the trail.
  • Identifying and selecting focus topics, possibly to include: Diversity, Transportation, Industry, Architecture & Design, Philanthropy, Education, and History.
  • Materiality intended to speak to the artistic and industrial history of Columbus.
  • Limestone salvaged from the old railroad bridge previously in Noblitt Park will be used as benches and historic marker bases.

1821 Bicentennial Trail Brick Campaign!

The City of Columbus is excited to announce the 1821 Bicentennial Trail Brick Campaign.

This is an excellent opportunity for individuals, families, businesses, and friends, to purchase bricks in commemoration of a specific event, in honor or in memory of someone important in their lives, or to celebrate time living in Columbus. Bricks will be placed along this important trail connection which will continue to promote the walkability of our city.  Funding will be provided by the Columbus Redevelopment Commission, Columbus Park Foundation, and private donors.

Groundbreaking for the trail is expected sometime in December with construction to be completed in the summer of 2022.  Bricks along the trail make wonderful gifts for your loved ones who will be remembered for years to come by those who walk or bike the trail.

For more information and to order a brick, go to