It wouldn’t ever be easy, but with the tribulations of COVID-19 and the challenges that independent local businesses in New Albany already have faced, to disrupt access to New Albany in 2021 without us first having the chance to regain a foothold during an ongoing pandemic is sheer bureaucratic insanity.
Automobile supremacy might well be an American religion, but sorry, INDOT is not a God. We needn’t worship it. In fact, it probably should be consigned to the dumpster fires: DEFUND INDOT sounds mighty fine to me.
Are the courts a possibility in delaying this vicious kick to the skull by our own presumed state government?
Sherman Minton closures will be limited during construction under plan, by Daniel Suddeath (Hanson’s Beige Machine)
After almost two years of conducting public meetings and garnering input, planners of the Sherman Minton Renewal are ready to submit their traffic proposal for the $90 million improvement project.
The recommended plan released today limits full closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge to 54 days out of the estimated 834 days of construction on the bridge, which could begin as early as April.
The full closure days would be limited to nine consecutive days per direction a year and up to a trio of three-day weekends per direction each year of the project. The 54 days of closure will not occur consecutively.
The proposal is an alternative to a full closure of the bridge for the duration of construction— a move that business owners, elected officials and residents warned could have caused devastating effects on New Albany.
“We have taken the public’s input very seriously,” said Sherman Minton Renewal spokeswoman Andrea Brady.
During full closures, Indiana traffic will be detoured via Interstate 265 to Interstate 65 under the plan. Kentucky traffic on I-64 and Interstate 264 will be diverted to the I-65 bridges for Indiana access.
“Naturally during peak traffic periods there’s going to be more traffic congestion but there will be signage in place so people can plan accordingly,” said Brady, as she added there will be “significant communication” during construction to alert the public about any closures or other traffic issues.
The plan will allow for two eastbound and two westbound lanes to remain open for the majority of the project and will keep access ramps open for the bulk of construction. One lane in both directions will be closed throughout construction.
The contractor will be allowed to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and some of the lanes may be closed nightly during construction for up to 180 nights per calendar year.
Though it’s better than a complete closure of the bridge, Joe Phillips, owner of Pints & Union in downtown New Albany, fears the project will create another burden for businesses that are currently dealing with losses due to the coronavirus …