Trail project delayed for year

A section of Emerson Avenue in Greenwood will receive an overhaul this summer, but construction of a trail along the road will be held off until next year as the city works to get the land needed for the project.

This summer, on a 1.5-mile stretch of Emerson Avenue between Main Street and County Line Road, the city plans to repave the street, rebuild portions of the center turn lane with grass medians, replace hanging stoplights with decorative ones at three intersections and install decorative lighting.

But one part of the project, a 10-foot-wide trail on the west side of the road, will be put off until next year, as consultants creating construction plans need more time to determine where the city’s property lines end and if any land will need to be purchased to build the trail, Greenwood Capital Projects Manager Kevin Steinmetz said.

When the road was widened in the late 1990s the land acquisition for that project began in the 1980s, and more time is needed to make sure the city has the right to build the trail where it wants to, he said.

The trail was included in the plans as a replacement for narrow sidewalks, which are extremely close to the road, he said.

Because repairing the road is a high priority for the city, especially as a harsh winter caused numerous potholes, officials want to move forward with the rest of project this year and follow up with the trail construction in 2019, Steinmetz said.

Construction is planned for the summer, but won’t require detours since work will be done with individual lane closures.

About 20,000 vehicles pass through the County Line Road and Emerson Avenue intersection every day. The road is only expected to get busier as more development takes place along Emerson Avenue in both Greenwood and Indianapolis, Steinmetz said. Three recent projects announced along Emerson Avenue include a 107-room hotel and 180-unit apartment complex just off of the road along Greenwood Springs Drive, as well as a 28,000-square-foot office building at 853 N. Emerson Ave.

City officials have said the road repairs and aesthetic improvements to Emerson Avenue are necessary to attract businesses to the remaining undeveloped areas on the street.

Initial estimates for the project were $3.5 million, but while the trail is being removed, the fluctuating price of asphalt means bids from contractors could come back any where from $3 million to $4 million, Steinmetz said.

The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission is planning to consider bids at its May meeting, he said. Last fall, the redevelopment commission approved spending $337,000 to pay Rundell Ernstberger to create designs.

PROJECT DETAILS

Here is a look at upcoming projects in Greenwood that will be happening this year:

Emerson Avenue

Cost: $3 million to $4 million

Project details: A rebuild of Emerson Avenue between Main Street and County Line Road. The center turn lane will be replaced with grass and concrete medians, new signals will be installed at three intersections along with decorative street lighting.

Madison Avenue

Cost: $2 million

Project details: A reconstruction of Madison Avenue from Pearl to Noble Street. The project will involve removing the center turn lane, adding a 12-foot-wide trail with a grass buffer, two marked pedestrian crossings, one of which will have a stop signal.

Smith Valley, U.S. 31, Madison Avenue

Cost: $3 million

Project details: A new roundabout at the intersection of Smith Valley Road and Madison Avenue, removing several left turn lanes and adding a jug handle turn at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Smith Valley Road.

Surina Way and Market Plaza connector road, new parking lot

Cost: $3.7 million

Project details: A new road will be built south of the Greenwood Public Library between Surina Way and Market Plaza. The intersection of Meridian Street and Surina Way will be lowered to increase visibility for drivers. A 178-space parking lot with an underground stormwater retention system will be built at the southeast corner of Meridian Street and Surina Way.

Author photo
Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.