A traffic signal at the western intersection of Harlem and East Dublin-Granville roads should make travel safer and more efficient, according to New Albany police Chief Greg Jones.
New Albany is slated to replace the stop sign and flashing red-and-yellow signal light at the T-shaped intersection with the full-service traffic signal, a project that has a construction-cost estimate of $180,000.
The roads also intersect again a few hundred feet to the east, where Harlem Road leads south into the New Albany Country Club neighborhood.
New Albany spokesman Scott McAfee said no signal is planned for that eastern intersection, which also is T-shaped and has only a stop sign for vehicles traveling northbound on Harlem.
City officials said accident rates and traffic volumes are reasons for the focus on the western intersection. Harlem Road, which meets East Dublin-Granville there after it runs south from Central College Road and passes over state Route 161, provides access to several neighborhoods.
A number of serious accidents have been recorded at the intersection, Jones said.
"I think it will be a nice addition to the intersection," he said.
From April 1, 2014, through April 1 this year, 13 crashes were reported at the Harlem and East Dublin-Granville intersection, according to data from the New Albany Police Department.
Four crashes occurred in 2014; one occurred in 2015; and eight occurred in 2016. No crashes were reported from January through April 1, 2017.
Many of the accidents reported were rear-end collisions.
City engineer Michael Barker said a traffic study from 2015 showed the full-service traffic signal was needed at the Harlem and East Dublin-Granville intersection because of the volume of traffic.
Estimated 24-hour traffic volumes for the intersection include 9,500 vehicles on East Dublin-Granville west of Harlem; 8,800 vehicles on East Dublin-Granville east of Harlem; and 6,000 vehicles on Harlem north of East Dublin-Granville, McAfee said.
The new equipment would allow signaled turns in all three directions, McAfee said.
The project is expected to begin in June and most likely will take four to six months to complete, he said.
New Albany City Council on April 4 voted to authorize City Manager Joe Stefanov to advertise, bid and award contracts for the traffic-signal installation.
City Council previously approved project funding when it adopted the 2017 budget.