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February 23, 2012

Traffic light at Ind. 62 finally turning green?

KIPDA offers minor changes to Indiana transportation projects

LOUISVILLE — A road project that has been languishing in the planning stages since 2009 may finally be moving forward.

The Kentuckiana Regional Planning Development Agency made minor changes to its Transportation Improvement Plan to move construction funds into 2012 for the installation of a traffic light and turn lanes at Ind. 62 and Salem-Noble Road in Jeffersonville at its meeting Thursday.

Jeffersonville, Clark County and the River Ridge Development Authority have all pledged funds for the project, which was the site of two fatal accidents that occurred within a year-and-a-half. Jeffersonville and Clark County each pledged $185,000 and River Ridge paid $370,000 to cover the 20 percent match required for the project.

River Ridge Engineer Marc Hildenbrand said at a recent development authority board meeting that the project is expected to be let for bidding May 2. A construction start date is June 1, with an expected completion date of Nov. 30, said River Ridge Executive Director Jerry Acy in an email. He added the improvements directly affecting the commerce center’s “big” project will be completed by Aug. 30.

The project referenced is a 1-million-square-foot distribution center planned at 900 Patrol Road, which runs parallel to Ind. 62. River Ridge and KTR Capital Partners, the developer for the site, have remained silent on what company will occupy the facility. Rampant speculation has placed online retailer Amazon.com as the future tenant for the center, but it has not been confirmed. That company has not returned media inquiries.

KTR design plans show that more than 2,500 parking spaces would be located at the distribution center and would add a heavy amount of traffic to that stretch of road.

Other modifications

KIPDA modified a number of Indiana transportation projects at its meeting Thursday. The first set of changes were related to two projects in New Albany that are funded through the Indiana Highway System Improvement Program.

“We are allocated about $300,000 in the [improvement program] funding to use for safety projects for Clark and Floyd counties,” said KIPDA Transportation Planner Mary Lou Hauber.

Both projects were already planned, but an increase was requested for engineering work on an intersection safety improvement plan for Charlestown Road and Beechwood Avenue. The increase totals $1,598 and the plan is to install a left turn lane and a new signal system.

The second change was also for intersection improvements to install left-hand turn lanes and new traffic signals at Spring and Silver streets. The funds were moved into fiscal 2012 fiscal, but there was no change in the project’s cost.

Changes were made to three Indiana projects within the Surface Transportation Program-Urban funds.

Two New Albany projects, McDonald Lane and Mount Tabor Road were granted additional federal design funding totaling $157,000 and $192,800, respectively. The third project that was changes was the widening of 10th Street in Jeffersonville. The change was to move $64,000 from 2011 to 2012 for engineering and increase the amount by $36,000 for a total of $100,000. Funds for right-of-way work were moved to 2014 and totaled $2 million.

All changes were approved by KIPDA’s Transportation Policy Committee.

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