News and Tribune

Bridges Project

March 12, 2014

East-end bridge work to close Jeffersonville roads

Wayfinding signs to help guide way along Greenway paths

JEFFERSONVILLE — Transportation was a common theme on Wednesday’s agenda for the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting.

Walsh Construction is closing Utica-Sellersburg Road and a portion of Brookhollow Way for work on the east-end bridge and is in the process of getting the word out to those affected.

Utica-Sellersburg Road will close May 16 and open Nov. 16, in line with the original plan previously reported in the News and Tribune. A small portion of Brookhollow Way closest to Boulder Ridge Drive will close the same day and won’t open again until Sept. 16, 2015.

Walsh has contacted the schools and the emergency services in the area about the closures and detour routes.

A representative from Walsh said he is notifying residents in the Brookhollow, Boulder Creek and Crystal Springs neighborhoods of the road closures through door-to-door letter delivery.

At the last neighborhood meeting, Mayor Mike Moore said that many residents did not receive notification of road closures from Walsh the last time they distributed them, even though letters were delivered at each house.

“Please find a better way to notify them because it is going to have a serious impact on these neighborhoods,” Moore said.

Terri Hicks, homeowners association president for Crystal Springs, said that traffic directed from the back end of Brookhollow will have to cross through Crystal Springs to get to New Chapel Road.

“It’s going to be an inconvenience, but it’s not going to be anything that we can’t deal with,” Hicks said. “It needs to be done, so we’re willing to do what we need to do to deal with it. We’ll just be happy when it’s over.”

The biggest issue with the closures will be more traffic along an already-busy New Chapel and Utica-Sellersburg intersection, she said.

“The mornings and afternoons are just horrendously congested there,” she said. “With these closures, it’s going to be even worse.”

Moore told Hicks that the lanes along New Chapel may be widened to accommodate this extra traffic.

Hicks said Dan Cristiani Excavating will be putting in a road connecting Crystal Springs and Boulder Ridge Drive to help with through traffic.

The closures were first announced at a Public Works meeting about a month ago as part of ongoing Ohio River Bridges Project construction. The east-end bridge will connect I-265 in eastern Louisville to Clark County, requiring Utica-Sellersburg Road to be elevated so that it can cross over the interstate.

The closure will block direct access from the main road to Utica Elementary School, Greater Clark County Schools administrative offices, Utica Fire Station No. 2, Key Electronics Inc. and MedVenture Technology Corp.

Detours for Utica-Sellersburg Road are taking Ind. 62 to Port Road or Middle Road from the south. Drivers leaving Brookhollow subdivision will only be able to turn left onto Utica-Sellersburg Road or will have to access the neighborhood through the back into Crystal Springs.

Nearby school routines will be affected, as well.

Erin Bojorquez, supervisor of communications for Great Clark County Schools, previously told the News and Tribune that the road closures will add about 10 minutes of driving time for the 200 students at Utica Elementary School, and pick-up times may need to be altered in order to accommodate this extra driving.

SIGNAGE OF THE FUTURE

In addition to these road closures, updates on the Ohio River Greenway project — an ongoing plan to renovate riverside pedestrian and cyclist routes connecting Jeffersonville, Clarksville and New Albany — also came up at the meeting.

The board approved wayfinding signs that will help guide travelers as they use the paths along completed portions of the project.

Shaunna Graf, project coordinator for the Ohio River Greenway Commission, said the pedestrian and cyclists paths are about halfway complete.

“We have reached a point where we have to put [signs] in because there’s enough of it done that it’s causing some confusion,” Graf said. “We want to be able to help people that are out there, even if it’s only for a four mile track instead of the whole 7 1/2 miles.”

Graf said though the signs will have minimal directions, anyone with a smartphone can scan a logo on the sign for more detailed and changing information. This plan may help save the city thousands of dollars because changing a website is far less expensive than replacing signs, she said.

“We’re focused on doing this in a way that we can provide a digital component to,” Graf said. “The idea is to try to keep it as simple as possible out in the field. It’s a way for the community to not have to absorb that cost over and over again.”

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