Work begins to convert several downtown New Albany streets to tw - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Work begins to convert several downtown New Albany streets to two-way

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- Big changes are coming to downtown New Albany as the city will soon be moving in a new direction.

After years of talk, work has begun to convert several downtown roadways to two-way streets.

David Thrasher opened the Art Store on Market Streett in New Albany 17 years ago. He has seen downtown change even more than his eclectic inventory.

“When I first moved here, I could sleep in the middle of Market Stree," Thrasher said.

Now, Market Street is bustling with shops and restaurants, but more change is on the way.

Market is about to become a two-way street, and Thrasher is all for it. He believes it will slow down traffic, making downtown safer for pedestrians, and that is good for business.

“The more pleasant it is to walk the downtown, it creates time for people to pop in all these places,” Thrasher said.

Five downtown streets being are being converted:

  • Market St. between First St. and Vincennes St.
  • Elm St. between State St. and Vincennes St.
  • Spring St. between State St. and Vincennes St.
  • Pearl St. from Elm St. to Main St.
  • Bank St. from Oak St. to Main St.

Crews have begun marking the streets to begin the changeover.

“There are people that are for it and people that are against it,” said lifelong New Albany resident Larry Sharlow.

Sharlow is part of what he calls the “Lads of the Village,” a group of friends that sips coffee and talks all things New Albany.

He supports the change, but does have one concern.

“Maybe the cost. I don't know what the federal government is giving us to do it,” he said.

New Albany City engineer Larry Summers tells WDRB the federal government is paying 80 percent of the $1.9 million project, with the city funding the rest.

“There are not a lot of people that I know of, personally, that are against it. So, I think it's a good thing for our city,” Sharlow said.

It will take some time to adjust to the change.

“Yes, it's coming, so if you're visiting downtown, take a second to look both ways before you turn,” Thrasher said.

The conversion is scheduled to be finished by September 30.

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