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May 17, 2014

Busy New Albany intersection will soon be upgraded

Left turning lane to be added to Charlestown Road-Beechwood Avenue intersection

NEW ALBANY — One of New Albany’s busiest intersections will soon receive a much needed upgrade, and most of the work will be paid for by the federal government.

The Indiana Department of Transportation met with New Albany city officials, engineering consultants, utility company representatives and contractors this week to coordinate implementation of a $214,792 Beechwood Avenue-Charlestown Road intersection improvement project. The work will include adding a left-hand turning lane on Charlestown Road to Beechwood and a new LED crosswalk and stop light.

“It will be a much more safe turn than it has been in the past,” New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan said. “It’s overdue. It’s not real glitzy, but it’s one [project] that people will appreciate.”

The project will get underway soon, according to John Rosenbarger, New Albany public works projects supervisor, and will likely be completed sometime this summer. The Federal Highway Administration pays 90 percent of Highway Safety Improvement Program project costs.

“It’s a very attractive funding source,” Rosenbarger said. “Right now, if a car is turning left it’s just too tight to get around. It just doesn’t work.”

Rosenbarger said materials for the project are being ordered and one utility pole will have to be moved before work begins. Traffic will be able to use the intersection during the work. Rosenbarger said there will be flaggers directing traffic.

He added that work on Grant Line Road, near the VFW Hobart Beach Post 1692, will be wrapping up as the Charlestown Road-Beechwood Avenue work begins.

The city did not have to buy right-of-way to expand the intersection. Rosenbarger said the bike lanes through the intersection will be absorbed for the road expansion.

Gohmann Construction, Clarksville, is the prime contractor for the project. The city’s project management consultant is American Structurepoint.

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Theater students rehearse a scene from "Seussical the Musical," directed by Silver Creek Theater Director, Alonzo Richmond, and New Albany Theater Director Amy Harpenau at the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater Thursday evening. The musical includes around 70 students from 12 local schools that will be performing Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.

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