Motorists travelling in and out of downtown New Albany should expect at least one more month of traffic congestion along Carter Avenue.
New Albany Mayor Tim Kent said the current project, which has left nearly one half of the road blocked off and narrowed the flow of traffic, is expected to be done in June.
“We’re installing a new culvert to deal with possible heavy rains and floods,” Kent said. “Crews have been working on the west side of Carter Avenue for about a month now and have now moved to the south side.”
Kent said the city board of aldermen applied for federal aid to help fund the project nearly three years ago and only recently received the go-ahead to start work.
“As part of the grant, the city will pay 20 percent of the cost, while the federal government will pay 80 percent,” Kent said.
The city sought the grant to aid with the project after receiving word from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency that a majority of Carter Avenue lies in a flood zone. That information was confirmed in May 2010 when the area was flooded following a strong weather system that moved through the state.
“The culvert will help alleviate some of the flooding that we could face if the river overflows like it did then,” Kent said.
Cook Coggins is the engineering firm in charge of the project.
Work crews have placed cones to help with traffic flow until the project is complete.