Grant Line Road work

Gutter and sidewalk work continues along Grant Line Road in New Albany.

NEW ALBANY — It looks like the Grant Line Road project won't be finished until mid-November.

But the contractor is being strongly encouraged to get it done faster.

City engineer Larry Summers told the New Albany Board of Public Works & Safety Tuesday that E&B Paving is being fined $3,000 a day by the Indiana Department of Transportation for not having the project finished by the scheduled completion date.

The contractual date for completion of the project was June 18, 2019. Beginning June 19, the fines began according to a city news release. Starting Aug. 18, if the project is still not completed, fines will be increased to $5,000 a day.

Since these fines have been initiated, the city has seen increased activity from the contractor and crews along Grant Line Road, the news release states.

Crews are currently completing sewer and water line work along Grant Line, as well as excavating in order to widen the road.

The proposed improvements to Grant Line include a multi-use path on the west side from Beechwod Avenue to Academy Drive, and sidewalks added on the east side. Additional drainage improvements will be made, including new curbs and gutters, drainage inlets, and a new storm-sewer system.

A new left-turn lane (southbound) will also be added at Jollissaint Avenue. Additionally, new ADA compliant sidewalks, ramps, pedestrian signals, and traffic signals will be added throughout the project area.

DISPUTE OF DRIVEWAY

Joe Zeller wants his driveway back. Zeller said in order to sell his property at 1205 State St., he needs the city to allow him to add the driveway which was taken away during improvements to State Street in recent years. The driveway was replaced with a bump out and bus stop.

Summers said the driveway was eliminated as a safety measure due to access management onto State Street. The property now has a shared entrance with its neighbor.

"It's lessened the value of my property," Zeller said. While he owns both properties, he said they each need their own driveway in order to sell to different buyers.

Summers said all that is needed is an access agreement between property owners if they are sold separately.

The board decided to take the request under advisement and will make a decision Tuesday.

MARKET STREET PROJECT

Market Street, between Pearl and State streets, will be closed during the day for a week beginning Monday in order to mill and pave the block which has been redesigned.

The contractors wanted to close the block at night as well so crews could get started early in the morning and not have to deal with getting parked cars removed. But the board decided with so many businesses along that block, it's important to keep it open at night.

The project is expected to be substantially complete by Sept. 2.

ROAD CUT

Due to the construction of a new O'Reilly's Auto Parts store at 3112 Grant Line Road, crews will have to make pavement cuts in the road to tap into the sewer. The work will begin Monday and the road will remain open during the work. The work will also be completed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. until it is complete in order not to interfere with school traffic.

Chris Morris is an assistant editor at the News and Tribune. Contact him via email at chris.morris@newsandtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NAT_ChrisM.

I am an assistant editor, cover Floyd County news and enjoy writing feature stories on interesting people in Southern Indiana.