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June 17, 2014

Official questions durability of Grant Line work in New Albany

Also: City moving forward with McDonald Lane project

NEW ALBANY — As design continues for the next segment of the project, one city official questioned Tuesday why paving for the first portion of Grant Line Road “failed” so soon.

The New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety agreed to expand its design contract with Jacobi, Toombs and Lanz by $8,800 in order for the firm to study the right turning lanes near Wal-Mart and Applebee’s.

Though construction is likely two years off, the next span of Grant Line Road to be upgraded will be from Beechwood Avenue to McDonald Lane, which encompasses the area to be studied by Jacobi, Toombs and Lanz.

Using funds provided by the state to maintain Ind. 111, the city paid more than $2.5 million to improve the northern portion of Grant Line Road from Mt. Tabor Road to McDonald Lane in 2012.

The project included expanding the right southbound lane and resurfacing, but Warren Nash, president of the board of works, criticized the durability of the paving Tuesday.

“It just doesn’t seem right when a major construction like that after a year fails,” Nash said.

MAC Construction and Excavating was the contractor for the project.

John Rosenbarger, director of public facilities projects for the city, said failure was “too strong” of a description for the issues occurring on Grant Line Road.

Street Commissioner Mickey Thompson, who is also a member of the board of works, faulted Mother Nature for some of the base failures on the road.

“Right after the project finished, we had one of the worst winters we’ve had around here in years,” he said.

Existing lanes were resurfaced, not rebuilt, as completely paving the roadway from the ground can add up to 50 percent to the cost of a project, Rosenbarger said.

Engineers will consider what portions of roadway can be resurfaced and which spans need to be rebuilt for the second leg of the project based on what is feasible, officials said.

“We’re going to have to do a balancing act,” City Engineer Larry Summers said.

Once the design phase is completed, the city will then have to obtain right-of-way for the project.

The board of works also accepted the $4.1 million federal funding contract from the Indiana Department of Transportation for the McDonald Lane project Tuesday.

Federal funds are covering 80 percent of the project, as the city will be responsible for about $1 million of the improvements.

Construction on the project will likely begin late next summer, as the city is in the right-of-way phase of the work.

About 90 parcels need to be obtained by the city for the improvements, though no large portions of property or buildings are expected to be purchased.



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