The cost for New Albany's planned Main Street improvements has increased following the city's request to American Electric Power to move utility poles and lines.

The cost for New Albany's planned Main Street improvements has increased following the city's request to American Electric Power to move utility poles and lines.

City Manager Joseph Stefanov said some of the power lines and poles will be removed from the right of way on the east side of Eagles Villa Pizza, 2 N. High St. Other lines on portions of Main and High streets will be in a cable being buried in the alley behind the restaurant.

"This is one of the best things that has happened to us in 2012," Mayor Nancy Ferguson said. "It is a major accomplishment.

Ferguson told New Albany City Council on April 17 that many city officials have tried to get lines buried or removed from the city center. They previously were told it would cost $1 million per mile, she said.

Stefanov said the project cost has increased from $1.3 million to $1.8 million because the utility lines will be moved.

"The telecommunication and cable lines will be relocated to an underground conduit bank that will be constructed within the Main Street right of way," Stefanov wrote in the legislative report to council. "Due to the manner in which the power system functions, the relocation of power lines on Main Street will also require the relocation of power lines on High Street."

Stefanov said the road will remain open during construction and power in the area will be retained even when power lines and poles are moved.

He said moving lines from High Street will be beneficial for future phases of street improvements, which are planned in 2013.

This summer, city officials hope to begin widening Main Street between High and Third streets. The city also will add a turn lane and on-street parking. New streetlights and sidewalks will match previous improvements to parts of Main and High streets.

The city will receive grants and zero-percent interest loans from the Ohio Public Works Commission totaling $350,000 for the project.

Council on April 17 approved a resolution to request bids on the project.

Council member Glyde Marsh voted against the resolution. The project includes bumpouts, or small rounded curbs that separate on-street parking spaces or designate pedestrian walkways. Marsh said he opposed the resolution because traffic cannot maneuver around them and cars and trucks often drive over the bumpouts.

Stefanov said if the bid were awarded in May, work could begin in June and be done by November.