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NEW ALBANY While road work is wrapping up as Old Man Winter prepares to set in, trees took up much of the discussion at Tuesday’s New Albany Board of Public Works Safety meeting.

The city received only one bid for tree clearing along Mount Tabor Road in preparation for road work which is scheduled to begin next summer. CCE Inc. submitted the bid for $73,000, which was taken under advisement.

New Albany City Engineer Larry Summers told the board that tree clearing would take place first before moving utilities to minimize the stress on the nearby neighborhoods.

“This will allow the utilities to work in advance of the road project and help expedite the schedule to mitigate the impact to the neighbors,” Summers said.

The Mt. Tabor Road improvement project is scheduled for a February letting. The project will run from the intersection of Grant Line and Mt. Tabor Road to the intersection of Klerner Lane and Mt. Tabor Road. It will include new sidewalk construction, new drainage systems, relocated utilities and road stabilization efforts along hillsides on Mt. Tabor Road. A traffic signal with left turn lanes will be constructed at Mt. Tabor and Klerner Lane.

This is a federal aid project, with 80 percent of the funds coming from the federal government and a 20 percent local match.

The city has also been “taking strides to protect and invest” in the urban tree canopy this year after receiving a $20,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry.

As part of the grant, the city initiated a tree inventory to determine how many trees are part of the canopy, in addition to tree boxes and potential tree locations for future plantings, according to a release from the mayor’s office. The inventory was recently completed, and 7,777 trees and potential tree locations have been identified.

The city is now working on a long term management and maintenance plan for the tree canopy.

“A long term strategy is vital to improving the health and future of our hardwood tree population. The residents and our New Albany environment will benefit from these investments for many years to come,” Mayor Jeff Gahan said in a release.

In other board of works news:

The unseasonably warm weather will allow crews to finish striping Bono Road this week. Except for a little touchup work, Phase II of the Bono Road project, from Graybrook Lane to Cottom Avenue, is finished.

Eighth Street was to be paved Tuesday afternoon. Crews are still working on Charlestown Road, from Vincennes Street to the North Y.

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