New Albany will receive ownership of a 4.5-mile section of IN-111 and a cash payment of $6.125 million to fund its future maintenance and improvement, state Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) announced Monday, March 22.
Rep. Clere said he worked on the transfer agreement for almost a year with Indiana Department of Transportation officials and Mayor Doug England.
The agreement also includes up to $500,000 in state matching funds that will allow the city to qualify for an additional $2 million in federal money to fund enhancements to Main Street, including a landscaped median, curb and sidewalk repair as well as lighting improvements.
"This is a win-win situation," Rep. Clere said. "It's good for the state and great for New Albany."
The section of IN-111 that will be relinquished is Main Street starting at State Street and continuing to Vincennes Street and from there to Charlestown Road, then to Beechwood Avenue and finally to Grant Line Road. It ends at Mount Tabor Road.
"This section of IN-111 is no longer used as a state highway," Rep. Clere said. "These are local streets, and the city should have control over them. The agreement gives the city both control over its streets and the resources to improve them."
Rep. Clere said the transfer will help downtown revitalization.
"This is big for Main Street and for all of downtown New Albany," Rep. Clere said. "Main Street should be a downtown street, not a state highway. This will allow the city to slow down traffic and make Main Street safer and friendlier for residents, pedestrians and bicycles. It will also be a lot more attractive."
Rep. Clere commended Mayor England for his willingness to work in partnership with the state and his desire to improve the downtown.
"I'm glad we had the opportunity to work together on this," Rep. Clere said. "The mayor and I are united in our commitment to downtown and revitalization."
As part of the agreement, New Albany will also receive ownership of the INDOT sub-district station on Grant Line Road along with use of state-owned right-of-way along Grant Line Road. The 3-acre station property, which houses state highway vehicles and road salt, was appraised for INDOT at $425,000.
Rep. Clere suggested last year that the station be included as part of the deal.
According to the terms of the agreement between the city and state, the $6.125 million cash payment can only be used for maintenance and improvement of the relinquished section of IN-111. Earnings on the money, however, may be used for anything. Typical proceeds from such a sum would likely exceed $300,000 annually.
"The money opens up a lot of possibilities," Rep. Clere said. "Managed well, it could impact much more than just the relinquished section of IN-111. This is a great redevelopment opportunity for the city."
INDOT estimates the annual maintenance cost of the relinquished section of IN-111 at $50,000 including a repaving allowance.
The city has until April 15 to sign the agreement. The city missed a previous deadline, and Rep. Clere asked INDOT to allow additional time.