Summer in New Albany: Pool Time, BBQ, and Orange Barrels

By Mayor Sloan Spalding

It is summertime here in New Albany! Time to get out the sunscreen, ready the BBQ grill and add in a good dose of patience – patience for the road construction season.

This year, our Orange Barrel Season goes beyond the traditional summer paving projects. This “season” is years in the making, dotted by earth movers and cranes in the New Albany International Business Park and marked by significant infrastructure improvements throughout our area. Good civic planning and infrastructure design – viewed past the aggravation of the orange barrels – is the backbone of any thriving community. Solid infrastructure supports economic activities, improves the quality of life, and enhances the efficiency of transportation for both goods and people.

Certainly, a lot of road construction has been taking place in and around the Intel site over the past few years, but most of us just don’t see it every day. Even major related projects like the addition of lanes to State Route 161 must be seen through the lens of planned improvement. Ever since State Route 161 was widened to two lanes from New Albany to Granville, we’ve dealt with the slow down where it transitions from three lanes to two on each side of town.

The 161 expansion and improvements have been a major topic of discussion for City and regional planners for years. The Intel project just accelerated the project timing and led to the state prioritizing funding – bypassing years of red tape.

As Intel continues progress on its Ohio One campus, we’ll see even more activity at the site in the coming months. “Super loads” will continue to be delivered, and the number of construction workers will increase. Fortunately, the City of New Albany has made and will continue to plan necessary road upgrades and other infrastructure enhancements to help alleviate the pressure of increased traffic. We take our planning seriously and work hard to anticipate future needs.

But this progress can be hard to live and drive through, so we are asking for your patience and understanding because we have a lot planned this season. Please follow the City of New Albany on social media and subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter to stay up to date on projects and anticipated delays.

The early stages of the Market Street Extension Project are underway, and work recently began on a construction project along State Route 605 near the New Albany-Plain Local Schools’ campus to add a dedicated right turn lane for southbound traffic and address congestion in that area during the school day.

Our street maintenance program is undergoing a change in how we evaluate pavement condition, and we will be more than doubling our investment in the upkeep of our local and neighborhood roads. Sidewalk maintenance, too, remains on a regular schedule meant to ensure their durability as we continue to address onetime sidewalk issues in residential areas throughout the city.

In terms of park improvements, crews will remain hard at work inside Taylor Farm Park on various projects, including the installation of playground sunshades and a pavilion. We’re also improving trails and are in the middle of adding pedestrian bridges leading into the park.

We are currently designing a roundabout for the intersection of Walnut Street and Bevelhymer Road to address an expected increase of traffic. And the Franklin County engineer also has projects planned around New Albany, including the construction of a roundabout at State Route 605 and Walnut and improvements to Morse Road south of New Albany.

All of these projects are important – from Intel to sunshades at the Taylor Park playground. Staying committed to good planning and preparing for the future will sustain New Albany as a great place to live, work, and raise a family.  Thank you for your continued patience and support. Have a great summer!