JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - After decades of talk, the city of Jeffersonville is taking steps to fulfill its promise to widen a heavily-traveled road.
Construction to widen Holmans Lane, adding turning lanes and bike lanes, began Thursday. Around 19,000 cars travel along the busy two-lane road. It connects Jeffersonville to new businesses growing along Veterans Parkway, and also to Clarksville and Interstate 65.
Once it's been widened, the road will create less of a headache for travelers utilizing it and many in the community are excited.
"There's snow on the ground but there's excitement in the air," Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said Thursday.
Traveling along Holmans Lane is about to get a whole lot easier. The busy road can be frustrating for drivers and sometimes dangerous.
"Yeah, actually pulling in here today, almost got hit myself," Moore said. "So if you're pulling off Holmans Lane onto one of the side streets, or if you're pulling from one of the side streets onto Holmans, you're taking your life into your own hands."
"It's pretty hectic to try and get out," Bernie Wright agreed.
Wright's lived on the corner of Gardner and Holmans Lane in Jeffersonville for more than 20 years. He said the road as it is right now is often problematic and very busy. When roadwork begins to expand it, the city will take a part of his yard to make this two-lane road a three-lane road, with bike lanes on either side near him.
"0.001 acres, just enough maybe to help with the sidewalk and the easement," Wright said.
Down the road, at the intersection with Veterans Parkway, extra turn lanes will be added and the parkway will become a four-lane road all the way through, in hopes of easing the congestion that frequently builds up there.
When it's done, it'll connect new developments along Veterans Parkway to planned developments on the east end of town. Until then, construction will make the traffic here even worse.
"It'll be a pain while they're in the process of doing it and I don't know how long it'll take, heard about eight months," Wright said. "But once it's over, it'll help a lot."
"It's a big project, it's going to be a pain in the butt to get through it," Moore said. "But it's got to be done. We're looking ahead at our future and this is a project that's going to take us there."
The project will cost the city around $8 million, paid for entirely by tax revenues from new businesses. Construction started Thursday and is expected to be complete by Christmas of 2018.