New Albany administrators this year plan to close at least two gaps in the village's leisure-trail system.

New Albany administrators this year plan to close at least two gaps in the village's leisure-trail system.

Crews are set to start work on a trail off Thompson Road, from Thompson Park to the Lansdown subdivision.

The trail project, which is estimated to cost the village $56,800, is a part of a larger Thompson Road project totaling $286,800.

"As soon as school lets out, the contractor is going to close the road to do the work," village public-service director Mark Nemec said.

The completed trail, identified by the village's parks and trails board as the first priority for creating trails, involves linking trails around Thompson Park with the trail system that runs through the village center.

A trail off Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, from Brandon Road to Hawksmoore Drive, and one off state Route 605, from Central College Road to the Enclave subdivision, are the second and fifth priorities, respectively, Nemec said.

"I think one of the key things on those two is, we didn't need to require any additional right of way or easement to get those in," he said. "We don't have those obstacles."

The third and fourth priorities will be evaluated at a later date, he said.

Village spokesman Scott McAfee said the fate of the Route 605 project depends on whether the village receives so-called stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as the costs of other capital-improvements projects.

The village currently has about 24 miles of leisure trails and recently applied for funding from the ARRA to complete some of the trail gaps. McAfee said the village likely wouldn't receive any ARRA funds for this.

Although New Albany Village Council officially hasn't yet approved the two projects, the Reynoldsburg-New Albany trail is estimated to cost $94,000. The Route 605 trail, which includes a bridge, is estimated at $214,000, Nemec said.

He said he has talked with the village engineer, who is in the process of developing plans for both trail portions.

He said he looks to approach council in June to ask for official approval to go out to bid for the project.

Nemec said work could begin in late summer or early fall.

Kathryn Meyer, deputy director of community development, said the parks and trails advisory board every year assesses and recommends which trails to complete.

"They do this because one of their primary roles is to be a recommending body to village administrators and village council," Meyer said. "The village council and administrators use the recommendations to create priorities for the capital-improvement projects."

She said this process was started a few years ago when village administrators added trail projects to their strategic plan.

The village typically completes three to four trail projects per year, she said.

Meyer said one of the goals when setting trail priorities is to link the village's system with other trail systems.

"I think council does a nice job prioritizing the gaps that may result in closing a section or making a key link for someone to be able to get to the park," she said. "It makes the dollar stretch pretty far."