NEW ALBANY — The City of New Albany is progressing with a piece of its plans for the South Monon Freedom Trail project.

On Tuesday, the New Albany Redevelopment Commission unanimously approved a $135,500 professional services agreement with HWC Engineering for the preliminary design work of a 1.46-mile trail.

The path would go from the Ohio River Greenway to Bank Street, and from there, it would go through Culbertson Avenue and Fairview Cemetery to 8th Street, according to New Albany Economic Development Director Claire Johnson.

The overall plan for the South Monon Freedom Trail project is to create a 68-mile pedestrian and biking path extending from New Albany to Bedford.

The City of New Albany has been in negotiations with CSX Railroad and the Surface Transportation Board since 2018 with hopes of acquiring the abandoned CSX railway for conversion into the trail.

The 1.46-mile path in New Albany would serve as a downtown segment of the regional trail, connecting the planned South Monon Freedom Trail with the Ohio River Greenway.

Adam Dickey, a member of the New Albany Redevelopment Commission and the New Albany City Council, said the agreement to enter into the preliminary design phase is “necessary to move forward with that project.”

“I think what we want to do is move design forward in anticipation of hopefully some other announcements in the future in terms of the construction,” Dickey said.

Dickey said the planned trail will improve quality of life in the city.

Jenny Collier, a member of the New Albany Redevelopment Commission and the New Albany City Council, said the plan is to have “everything ready to go when the time comes” for the project to move forward.

Our Southern Indiana Regional Development Authority has allocated the City of New Albany more than $4 million for the South Monon Freedom Trail project from the region’s $50 million in Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) funding.

 

 

 

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