$1.2M headed to Southern Indiana for improvements

More than one-million dollars in bond funding is on the way to Southern Indiana and that means some big improvements to the riverfront.

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) – More than $1 million dollars in bond funding is on the way to southern Indiana for improvements.

The $1.2 million will help fund projects in New Albany, Clarksville and the Falls of the Ohio. Most of the funds will stay in New Albany to make improvements to the city’s waterfront.

Desijuan Berry walks along New Albany’s riverfront daily, using the Ohio River Greenway to get to his destination. His favorite part of the walk is the river.

“It’s just sitting back and looking at the river, feeling the breeze – it feels nice,” he said.

Thanks in part to bond funding from the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau, Berry’s walk could soon be even better.

“These are long-term projects and some of these are 10 to 20 years in the making,” Jim Epperson said.

The tourism bureau awarded New Albany $825,000 in bonds to help expand its greenway and add amenities along its riverfront.

Mayor Jeff Gahan says the projects will focus on the far east and west sections of the waterfront.

"Along with the New Albany Greenway, the new feature will have boat docks, it’ll have some camping areas, it’ll have some trails. They’re developing a plan right now so there’s a few surprises that are coming that will soon be announced. They will all be amenities that will complement the existing Greenway at the New Albany Riverfront. We're very excited about it." Gahan said.

Just a few miles away, the Falls of the Ohio will get $110,000 to replace a 23-year-old orientation film and $275,000 will help extend Clarksville's Greenway, connecting it to New Albany over Silver Creek.

"The combination of those things makes these communities more attractive to live in and certainly to visit. That’s what we need as a destination to remain competitive – new products,” Epperson said.

The investments all have one thing in common -- developing and improving Southern Indiana's riverfront.

"Some of these improvements are long overdue, no question about that. We’re doing them in such a way that we’ve put a lot, a lot of planning and they will benefit a lot of different people." Gahan said.

Mayor Gahan says he is particularly excited to see what happens with the Loop Island Wetlands and part of the money will go towards making that property more accessible.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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