New Albany News

City to connect Thompson Road trails with foot bridge


New Albany officials plan to connect the leisure trails on Thompson Road that are separated by the Rocky Fork Creek.

On the east side of the creek, which the Thompson Road bridge crosses east to west, the trail ends at the entrance to the New Albany Country Club turf-care facility.

On the other side, it ends near the entrance to Thompson Park.

The connection will involve a pedestrian bridge over the Rocky Fork Creek.

"It's one link that's been needed," said Dave Wharton, director of New Albany Parks and Recreation.

New Albany spokesman Scott McAfee said the connection will link residents in The Preserve and Sedgwick to central New Albany through the Lansdowne subdivision and New Albany Country Club communities.

New Albany City Council on Sept. 17 approved a resolution 7-0 to request bids for the project.

City Service Director Mark Nemec said it has not been an easy project because a great deal of right of way is needed.

The city owns 70 percent of the right of way across the Thompson Road bridge over the Rocky Fork Creek.

Nemec said the city had to obtain the rest of the right of way -- owned by the city of Columbus -- to make the trail connection.

He said New Albany is taking over right of way and maintenance of the bridge, which was repaired by the two city governments in 2011.

The estimated cost of the leisure-trail connection is $280,000, which includes building the wooden pedestrian bridge across the Rocky Fork Creek.

Nemec said the bridge will use 90-foot beams built to span the creek.

Since no posts have to be placed in the stream, Nemec said the project will cost lest and require less oversight.

Councilwoman Colleen Briscoe asked if wood is the best product because it is more difficult to maintain.

Nemec said the city might use metal railings instead of wooden railings to alleviate some of the maintenance issues.

Nemec said the city hopes to have the trail connections up to either side of the bridge built this year. He said the wooden pedestrian bridge span can be set in place in the winter.