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November 20, 2012

Portion of Ind. 111 to close for at least a day

New Albany moves ahead with Charlestown Road intersection project

NEW ALBANY — Ind. 111 will be closed near the Corydon Pike intersection by the state on Dec. 3 for railroad repair work.

Though the city doesn’t control that portion of the road, New Albany Street Department Commissioner Mickey Thompson announced the shutdown Tuesday so that motorists and businesses would have ample time to prepare for the closure.

“This is just a courtesy to us to let us know they’re going to close it,” Thompson said of the notification from the state.

Also Tuesday, the Board of Public Works and Safety approved a detour map proposed by the Indiana Department of Transportation, as motorists will be diverted to Water Street to loop around the construction and connect back with Ind. 111.

Board members, including Warren Nash, expressed concern with how the closure will affect traffic flow and businesses along the busy road.

“That will be chaotic,” he said.

The road leads to the Horseshoe Casino in Harrison County and typically carries a heavy load of traffic daily. The closure will affect the direct route to the casino, but motorists will still be able to access the riverboat by following the detour signs.

INDOT inferred in its notification that it plans to finish all construction Dec. 3, Thompson said. But he added the exact times of the closure weren’t announced, so motorists should be prepared to use the detour route for the entire day.

Beechwood signal work approved

The city moved forward Tuesday with a street signal and curb project for the Beechwood Avenue and Charlestown Road intersection that will be primarily funded with federal money.

The three-way traffic signal at the intersection will be replaced.

A few more months of design work is anticipated but the project should start next summer, said Carl Malysz, director of Community Housing Initiatives for the city. Malysz presented the plan to the board of works on behalf of the administration. He said the project should move quickly in part because it will not require any right-of-way purchases.

A contractor for the work will still have to be selected, but Malysz estimated the project should be wrapped up by the end of 2013.

“This is one we can get done in a relatively timely manner,” he said.

Federal money is covering 90 percent of the project, as a $405,000 agreement was approved by the board of works that will help usher the release of the funds. The city will be responsible for about $45,000 as a local match toward design, construction and inspection of the work.

Malysz said the project is needed because the signal is antiquated and thus the light and direction changes don’t always coincide with the traffic flow.

Along with the addition of some pedestrian features, Malysz said the project will also encompass the installation of new curbs at the intersection.

The city’s local match will likely come from the relinquishment fund New Albany garnered from the state for taking over a portion of Ind. 111.

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