By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
The date for the Grant Line Road closure has been moved back to June 18, as the street will be shut down at the train tracks near Rolling Creek Drive for likely one week.
CSX Railroad Corp. will be resurfacing the crossing in conjunction with the city’s Grant Line Road improvement project, though New Albany is flipping the bill for the work.
The New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety initially closed the road for next week, but a CSX official alerted the city Tuesday that due to a delay in concrete delivery, the project won’t be able to launch until June 18.
Public Works Supervisor John Rosenbarger said the city will be installing message boards along Grant Line Road warning of the pending closure and advertising detour routes.
He said “we’ll explore doing one or the other” in regards to sending letters or placing phone calls to business owners in the area to alert them of the road closure.
Board of works member Warren Nash said it’s vital that the city notify businesses along Grant Line Road especially the establishments that depend on the through access for heavy truck traffic.
“This can be devastation for some businesses out there, not to mention an inconvenience to everyone,” he said.
Heavy trucks using Daisy Lane as a detour is also a concern, Nash added.
He also questioned whether the improvement project would yield better results than recent repairs at another CSX track at the New Albany intersection known as the North Y.
The North Y — which is the intersection at Eighth Street and Grant Line Road — was closed in April so a CSX contractor could replace tracks in the area. Nash wasn’t impressed with the work, as he said the North Y crossing is “worse than Grant Line is now” in reference to the tracks near Rolling Creek Drive.
Rosenbarger said there are no assurances since the city doesn’t control the crossing, but added the North Y was a different kind of project than what will be implemented along Grant Line Road by CSX.
“I think we can be very confident that it will be much better,” he said.
In other news
The board of works granted permission to the nonprofit New Albany First — an organization that represents locally-owned businesses — to close Bank Street between Elm and Spring streets Sept. 22 for what has been dubbed the New Albany Indiefest.
It will be the inaugural Indiefest, and organizers have planned the festival for 5 to 10 p.m. The street will be closed from 2 p.m. to midnight to provide ample time for preparation and cleanup after the event.
According to New Albany First Vice President Marcey Wisman-Bennett, the festival will include local music and beer, as well as spaces for independently-owned businesses to set up booths and sell their products.
There will be a stage area for bands to play adjacent to the New Albanian Brewing Co.’s Bank Street Brewhouse location, and Wisman-Bennett said the area of the festival needs to be blocked off to adhere to laws for outdoor alcohol sales.
“It will be a family event, however, it will be confined to that area, so no one will be able to leave with beer,” she said.
The festival will culminate a summer of events planned by New Albany First. The details and locations are still pending, but Wisman-Bennett said there are networking and promotional activities planned including a “Summer of Independents” meet and greet event slated for July 2.
For more information, visit the website www.na1st.org.