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December 10, 2013

Silver Street in New Albany to close for drainage improvements

Also: MAC adding hours to speed up Mt. Tabor work

NEW ALBANY — The project will hopefully upgrade drainage in the neighborhood, but residents and motorists will have to deal with a partial closure of Silver Street next week to make way for the improvements.

Albeit reluctantly, the New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety approved on Tuesday closing Silver Street between Carlton Drive and Wood Avenue in order for TSI Paving to install a stormwater basin.

That portion of Silver Street will be closed from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. next Monday and Tuesday, and could last through Wednesday.

Warren Nash, president of the board of works, said closing Silver Street would create a “major disruption” to traffic flow. He preferred TSI only close one lane of Silver Street for the project.

TSI President Steve Triplett said with crews opening 10 foot deep ditch adjacent to the road, keeping the street open could present safety hazards for motorists and the construction crew.

Also, it would take up to six days to complete the basin work if only one lane is closed during construction, Triplett continued.

“I can cut the public pain in half,” by closing Silver Street for the work, he said.

TSI had initially proposed utilizing Culbertson Avenue as the official detour road to connect motorists to and from Charlestown Road via Vincennes Street, but the board of works designated Ekin Avenue instead.

“I don’t think Culbertson can handle that volume of traffic,” Nash said, as Ekin Avenue is wider than Culbertson Avenue.

Triplett said signs will be posted this week to alert motorists of the pending road closure. The time frame for shutting down Silver Street should allow work to be done after the morning rush hour and before traffic volume increases again in the afternoon, he continued.

Triplett hopes to have the project completed in two days, but it may extend to a third day so the board approved the road closure through next Wednesday.

TSI Paving is also constructing the Reno Avenue drainage project, and will be performing some preparatory work for the effort next week that will require lane closures on Spring Street.

An east and westbound lane will be closed from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 19 and Dec. 20 for the work.

The improvements are part of a series of drainage projects footed through a $6 million bond that was approved in 2012.

Hours added to Mt. Tabor work

MAC Construction & Excavating will be allowed extended hours to work on the Mt. Tabor Road repair project.

Crews are currently on the clock from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to shore up an embankment near East Oakwood Drive that is causing the roadway to slide.

However due to recent wintry weather and a desire to wrap the project up as quickly as possible, MAC requested to be allowed to add hours to its daily shifts.

The board of works granted a construction schedule of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. until the project is concluded. MAC initially asked to be allowed to work an additional eight to 10 hour shift after 5 p.m., but board member and New Albany Street Commissioner Mickey Thompson said that would be too noisy for a residential neighborhood.

“I wouldn’t see it going past 9 p.m. for the residents’ sake,” Thompson said.

The board awarded the project to MAC for $145,000 on Nov. 5, and an official with the company said it could complete the work within the 40-day time frame specified in the contract without the additional hours.

However with traffic and residents already being affected by the construction, MAC would like to complete the work as quickly as possible, the official said.

The added hours will not result in additional pay for MAC.

Currently a temporary traffic signal has been installed to usher traffic through the construction, as one lane of Mt. Tabor Road has been closed for the project.

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