NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – It's been years since construction first started on a major road that connects the east to the west in New Albany.
The nearly $6 million McDonald Lane project added numerous safety improvements, including uniformed mailboxes on both sides of streets.
Right now, only half of the mailboxes are being used because the United States Postal Service will only deliver to one side of the McDonald Lane.
"This improvement has been talked about for over 50 years," New Albany Public Works President Warren Nash said.
The new and improved McDonald Lane connects Charlestown Road and Gr ant Line Road.
"Brand new roadway, brand new drainage system, brand new sidewalks," Mayor Jeff Gahan said.
City leaders celebrated with a ribbon cutting on Friday.
Residents on the south side of the street said they're still waiting on one thing.
"I would just like the mail to be delivered right here," neighbor Morgan Clegg said.
Before construction, every mailbox used to be on one side of the road. As part of safety improvement, the city installed uniformed boxes on both sides, so people would not have to cross the street. It's a decision the neighbors praised.
"They're gorgeous mailboxes and what I really liked is that you can get your mail from the sidewalk," neighbor Leahann Watkins said. "You don't have to walk out into the street."
The post office, however, has not changed its route.
"I think it's ridiculous," Watkins said. "I don't know why it should be such a big issue."
"I actually had the mail lady tell us that it was a safety issue for them to drive down both sides of the street," Clegg said.
Clegg's working mailbox is nearly a quarter mile down the road.
"It might be two or three days before we remember to check it because it is all the way down there," Clegg said.
Some residents who are tired of distance took matters into their own hands.
"At that point I carried my mailbox in its bucket and placed it across the street from my house," Watkins said.
The city has been attempting to work out something with the United States Postal Service for months. Gahan said he understands the neighbors' frustrations.
"There's a lot of seniors here," Gahan said. "Seventy, 80-year-old folks that probably don't feel like running across the street and scampering out of the way of traffic. It would be a lot better for everyone if we can get an agreement between the two post offices to leave them where they are."
The United States Postal Service said the delivery route on McDonald Lane has been in place for more than 40 years. A spokesperson said the route is an "established line of travel," which is the most efficient and safest way with respect to the rest of the delivery route. USPS said this has been explained at a previous city meeting.