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December 26, 2013

Roundabout scrapped from New Albany road project

Mt. Tabor, Klerner Lane Intersection likely to remain a four-way stop

NEW ALBANY — Improvements to Mt. Tabor Road won’t include a roundabout at the Klerner Lane intersection.

The city has pulled the roundabout from its proposed construction design, as many residents opposed the idea during a September public hearing including the four property owners whose land would be affected by the traffic circle.

“We determined the impact was going to be severe on those properties,” New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan said this week.

After reviewing the proposed plan, Gahan said city officials and engineers decided the roundabout may not be “pedestrian friendly” in that particular neighborhood.

The city intends to add sidewalks on both sides of Mt. Tabor Road, and Gahan said a roundabout at the Klerner Lane intersection could hamper pedestrian flow in the area. The intersection will likely remain in its current incarnation with a four-way stop.

As far as how removing the roundabout will affect the cost of the estimated $3.9 million project, Gahan said the final design is still being completed.

“We’re going to continue to listen to people and move the project forward,” Gahan said.

He met with three of the four property owners whose land would have been touched by the roundabout to tell them about the update. Gahan said he attempted to break the news to fourth property owner as well, but they weren’t home when he stopped by.

District 6 Councilman Scott Blair credited the Gahan administration for listening to the residents in the neighborhood, as the majority opposed the roundabout.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Blair said, as he added removing the roundabout from the plan will alleviate some of the concerns of residents in the area. “I’m satisfied with the process and the way things have transpired.”

The project will improve Mt. Tabor Road between Grant Line and Charlestown roads. Federal funds will cover 80 percent of the project cost with the city to foot the rest.

Gahan said the city continues to meet grant deadlines, but added that an exact timetable for construction hasn’t been finalized.

Officials have said the project won’t begin until 2015 at the earliest.

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