For New Albany City Council member and Freshii owner Kasey Kist, the ends justify the means with the city's Rose Run project.

Although construction and traffic have caused some headaches, Kist said, the project should increase foot traffic and connect Market Square businesses, the New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and the New Albany-Plain Local School District campus.

"It is definitely testing people's patience now, but I think it's going to be so worth it when it's done," he said.

The city's Rose Run revitalization project includes improvements to Rose Run Park, which had been accessible only by leisure trails and is part of the Rose Run stream corridor that runs mostly parallel to Dublin-Granville Road through New Albany, and a 34-foot bridge and promenade that would connect the district campus on the north side of Dublin-Granville to the library branch and Market Square to the south.

A section of Dublin-Granville Road south of the district campus has been closed since last fall for the project.

When the park is completed, everything would be connected, said city spokesman Scott McAfee.

"The park will also draw more people to the area, which will ultimately increase foot traffic for area businesses," he said.

Though the Rose Run corridor at one time was a barrier between the district campus and Market Square, it now would link them, McAfee said.

City officials estimate the project will conclude later this year, but they are exploring ways to finish sooner, he said.

"It is too soon to tell if we can accomplish that," McAfee said.

Kist, whose Freshii restaurant is at 160 W. Main St., isn't the only business owner who said completion of the Rose Run project could be a boon.

The project and the recreational opportunities it includes should bring many more people to the area, said Craig Brown, regional manager of the Mellow Mushroom pizzeria at 260 Market St.

"I think it's a great idea," he said.

Katharine Elliott, co-owner of Elliott Cooper boutique at 220 Market St., said the project could bring the community together and establish a gathering space.

Jeff Wilcoxon, co-owner and founder of Johnson's Real Ice Cream, 160 W. Main St., said the development associated with the Rose Run project would improve business over time.

Many of his customers are families, Wilcoxon said, and Johnson's should benefit from the pedestrian bridge providing access to the school district campus.

Geoff Clark, owner of VeloScience Bike Works at 220 Market St., said the Rose Run project should make New Albany more of a destination, which should in turn bring more commerce.

"And certainly if it enables safer cycling, that's a plus for me," he said.

Clark said he is planning to add recreational bicycle models to his store's fleet of road bikes and racing bikes.

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