By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY — The Spring Street entrance to New Albany from Clark County will be undergoing some noticeable changes.
On Tuesday, the New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety OK’d submitting a proposal to reconfigure the medians, signage and to extend curbs along the route for construction bids.
The plan is two-fold, as it will hopefully modify speed on Spring Street while also improving the aesthetics of the gateway.
The lower and upper medians near the bridge that runs over Silver Creek would be changed under the plan. The guardrail and entrance sign on the upper median would be removed, and trees and shrubbery planted to enhance the appearance of the area.
The lower median would be completely rebuilt under the plan, and the road shoulders would be eliminated in favor of curbs with trees to be added behind them. Curbs would be extended to near Beharrel Avenue if the proposal comes to fruition.
John Rosenbarger, public works projects supervisor for New Albany, said the four-lane highway entrance from Clark County is unlike almost any other entrance onto a city street he’s encountered. Motorists can be confused when traveling on a four-lane highway before entering New Albany and its 30-mph speed limit on Spring Street, Rosenbarger said.
“This is an effort to try and modify some speed ... and an appearance that says ‘hey, you’re coming onto a city street’,” he said.
The project is estimated to cost between $150,000 and $200,000, and the board of works has slated a special meeting Feb. 5 to review bids.
Mayor Jeff Gahan said he’s pleased with the design of the project, and believes some of the features could improve safety in the area in terms of reducing speed of vehicles entering New Albany.
“I think everybody will agree that’s a much needed repair in the streetscape on Spring Street,” he said.
As part of its initiative to plant 10,000 trees in the area, Gahan said Eco-Tech has agreed to donate trees to the city for the medians.
“They’ll start work in the spring, and I think the whole community will be very happy,” he said.
Guns from buy back destroyed
The more than 250 guns turned-in by New Albany residents in December during the city’s buyback program were destroyed at the Louisville metal recycling business Freedom Metals on Monday.
The city paid residents who were willing to surrender their operable firearms, as Mayor Jeff Gahan agreed to allot $50,000 for the program.
Freedom Metals destroyed the guns at no cost to the city, but the company was allowed to keep the metal to recycle for other uses, according to the New Albany Police Department.
Wilkinson to be replaced on board
Suellen Wilkinson — the former president of the board of pubic works — will be replaced by Gahan.
The administration hasn’t confirmed the reason for the change, but the three appointments to the board are at the discretion of the mayor.
Warren Nash has been acting as president of the board in Wilkinson’s place, and Gahan’s administrative assistant Cheryl Cotner is temporarily serving as the third member of the body.