NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – It has been talked for more than two decades. Now, the wait is just about over to use a finished path that connects New Albany to Clark County.
Whether you're training for a 5K or a marathon or just enjoy a walk or ride, the Ohio River Greenway in southern Indiana is the perfect spot. The only problem, it's not quite connected.
"Right now you have to look out for the traffic a lot," walker Wendy Grove said.
"I ran past that point and I was running on the road, which is fine, but it is definitely safer on the trail," runner Adam Embry said.
Embry is gearing up for the Ironman this October, so he has to get creative to get in all those training miles.
"It's always nice to change up where you're running," Embry said.
Eventually, the Ohio River Greenway will be a seven-mile stretch from Jeffersonville to New Albany providing the public a linear park to take in the river views on foot or bike.
"It would be nice because the scenery is so beautiful here," Grove said.
New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan said the reason it's taken so long to complete is because they have to acquire all the land.
"There's a lot of property owners involved in this, as you can imagine, Clarksville, Jeffersonville, New Albany, there's a lot of riverfront there," Gahan said.
Starting next month, construction will begin to link the greenway from New Albany to Ashland Park in Clarksville, about a six-mile stretch. This will provide a safe route with something for everyone, like a nature trail around Loop Island.
"It's a great place for birds and wildlife and unlike no other place around, you'd be surprised if you walked through, you would never believe you were in New Albany unless somebody told you," Gahan said.
New Albany's portion will expand its current route adding on from 8th to 18th Streets. Clarksville will take care of the rest.
"Now this will give us a way to stay fit and stay connected at the same time," Gahan said.
In total, New Albany's portion will cost around $9 million with federal and state help.