Construction in New Albany set to begin, some businesses have doubts

One of the most-traveled streets in New Albany is getting a makeover. Work to improve Main Street starts soon.
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 10:36 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - One of the most-traveled streets in New Albany is getting a makeover. Work to improve Main Street starts soon.

That work includes improved lighting, landscaping, and sidewalks. The project is meant to bring in businesses and visitors.

The project is adding to what a city engineer called a “showpiece in Southern Indiana.”

One business owner told WAVE news he’s excited for the project to finish, but he has some reservations.

If you walk down Main Street you’ll find shops, restaurants, and other businesses. New Albany is trying to make that walk safer.

“We’re widening the sidewalks which is going to make a better pedestrian facility. But it’s also going to create a space to where as businesses that come in that want to have seating outdoors, they’re going to have that without impeding the flow of pedestrians along the corridor,” said Larry Summers, New Albany City Engineer.

The first part of the project will start on the south side of main street. hat work is expected to be completed by March 2023.

Improvements to the north side of the road are expected to be done in September 2023.

“I think it’s going to be amazing when they’re done. New Albany needed some of that reinvestment, and this street in particular, bring in more retail, more people, it’s going to be great,” said Hardesty, a local business owner.

Dan Hardesty’s business, Eureka Menswear, is right on Main Street. And he has some doubts.

“I trust it’s going to be accessible, I think the degree of accessibility is probably what’s in question,” Hardesty said.

Summers says that shouldn’t be a problem.

“By the contract, the contractor is required to maintain access to businesses and residence the entire time of the project as well,” Summers said.

But Hardesty says they’re going to have to be creative until all the improvements are done.

“Us being able to figure out how to maneuver how to get people into this store when the roads are torn up, so that’s a challenge I have to deal with,” Hardesty said.

The shops in the area have a motto, ”survive til you thrive.” And if they do survive, Hardesty says the wait will pay off.

When this gets done, we’re going to kind of be at this new focal point of attention. We got development coming next door, we got two new restaurants across the way there’s another development two blocks down, so yeah. New Albany’s cool man,” Hardesty said.

Harvest Homecoming in New Albany is still happening this year even with the construction. New Albany is making sure there will be safe pedestrian access.