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July 10, 2013

New Albany councilwoman, residents question status of Slate Run Road project

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

“I think it’s just horrible that we have a situation with roads where people really can’t walk — they have to get out in the middle of the street,” Gonder said. 

With the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. discussing the potential of expanding Slate Run Elementary School, Benedetti said the road project could be vital when it comes to safety. 

“If that passes, then it’s a very dangerous road,” Benedetti said of the expansion.

She added the street is already hazardous for pedestrians because of the lack of sidewalks. 

The school system has had preliminary talks about a referendum to expand Slate Run Elementary, but a timetable hasn’t been set for such a move. 

In 2010, engineers proposed adding curbs and gutters to about 1.8 miles of Slate Run Road. Sidewalks on both sides of the road were to be added, and portions of the street were to be rebuilt under the plan. 

Gonder voiced another concern: If the city realizes there’s a trouble spot on a public facility, and it does nothing to address the problem, the municipality becomes almost complicit in any accident that occurs. 

“We should find the money to do those projects,” he said. 

The city remains committed to street projects for Mount Tabor Road and McDonald Lane, Duggins said. Unlike Slate Run Road, those efforts are being fueled by federal grants that will cover 80 percent of the costs of the projects. 

Duggins said work has essentially started on the estimated $4 million Mount Tabor Road project, as land acquisition and right-of-way negotiations have begun. 

Duggins told Benedetti he would further discuss the Slate Run Road project with administrative staff and provide an update to her. 

He didn’t specify when he would report back, but Benedetti said the residents just want a definitive answer. 

“If it’s not something that’s going to be done,” she said, “we just need to be told.” 

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