A stretch of Dublin-Granville Road near the New Albany-Plain Local School District campus is slated to open to traffic months earlier than originally planned, according to New Albany officials.
The section of Dublin-Granville has been closed since last fall for New Albany's Rose Run revitalization project.
The project involves 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. It includes a 34-foot bridge and promenade that would connect the district campus on the north side of Dublin-Granville to the New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and Market Square to the south.
Last October, New Albany closed Dublin-Granville Road between Fodor Road and the loop near the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, 100 W. Dublin-Granville Road, for the project. Dublin-Granville will remain two lanes, but the road itself will be reduced in width as part of the project, Adrienne Joly, New Albany's director of administrative services, said previously.
But though Dublin-Granville had been scheduled to reopen in December, the city now expects to open it by the middle of September because of a decision to expedite that portion of the project, said city spokesman Scott McAfee.
McAfee said city leaders appreciate the patience the community has shown while the project is ongoing.
"We're trying to get the project done as quickly as we can," he said.
Feedback from the community about the road closure has been mixed, McAfee said.
Although residents knew the closure was coming, construction in and around the city already affects traffic, he said. City leaders realize how important easy access to the district campus is, and that is why they chose to expedite this part of the project, he said.
The city will pay an extra $230,000 to complete the road early, McAfee said. The city has a $17 million budget for the Rose Run Park project, and Dublin-Granville Road improvements were $6 million of that total.
As part of the project, the Dublin-Granville closure will be extended from Fodor almost to Main Street, cutting off access to the McCoy loop, when the schools close for the summer, McAfee said. When school resumes, the McCoy loop would be accessible again, he said.
The last day of school for students is May 30, according to the district website. Classes resume Aug. 15.
The current closure still allows access to the McCoy loop, at which many students are dropped off in the mornings, according to McAfee.
During the summer, temporary McCoy parking will be available off Chatham Green north of New Albany Primary School, 87 N. High St.
Brick crosswalks will be installed beginning July 4 at Dublin-Granville and Fodor and at Dublin-Granville and Main Street, McAfee said. Flaggers will be on hand to help drivers go around construction in the sections of Dublin-Granville that aren't closed, he said.
Most of the bike and pedestrian lanes associated with the Dublin-Granville portion of the project won't be completed until the end of the year, McAfee said. The northern portion of leisure trails at the district campus will open when Dublin-Granville opens, he said.
City leaders still expect the remainder of the project to be finished by the end of the year, he said.
New Albany-Plain Local Superintendent Michael Sawyers said the reopening of Dublin-Granville would benefit parents when they are dropping off students and also increase safety for students walking or biking to school.
"We're excited it's ahead of schedule and remain hopeful that the (road portion of the) project will be complete by mid-September as projected," he said.