New Albany News

City needs district's help to wrap up roadwork

Officials ask for right-of-way easement


New Albany last week requested a right-of-way easement from the New Albany-Plain Local School District to finish the city's High Street improvements.

Bill Dorman, New Albany's engineering manager, told the New Albany-Plain Local school board Aug. 12 the city needs 1.4 acres on the west side of High Street to complete the reconstruction of High Street from Main Street (U.S. Route 62) north almost to Chatham Green Drive.

The city will reconstruct the road, widen the street, add a turn lane at the south entrance to the 2-5 elementary building and move the road's alignment west in the $1.8 million project.

It also will bury some utility lines, as well as add sidewalks to the east side of High Street and street trees, on-street parking and ADA-compliant brick curbs on both sides of the road.

Dorman told the school board the city needs the land to bury utility lines and complete the project, which began in June.

He requested the district give the city a warranty deed for the land, which would make the city responsible for maintaining the land.

Dorman said he does not know the value of the land.

Michael Sawyers, the school district's chief of operations and strategic development, said the request must be forwarded to the district's attorneys.

He could not say last week if the district would donate the land to the city or request payment for it.

He said the district has cooperated with the city on the High Street project, which will benefit the school district by improving traffic flow during school hours. Buses access the 2-5 building off High Street.

Sawyers said the district would respond to the city's request after hearing back from district attorneys.

Dorman said two-way traffic was expected to begin on High Street by Aug. 18 and the project will be completed in the fall.