Fishers’ explosive growth causes headaches along the way

FISHERS, Ind. -- The city of Fishers is experiencing explosive growth, but it comes at a cost to drivers and residents.

IKEA officially broke ground on its highly-anticipated store Tuesday morning, quickly ramping up work to open in fall of 2017. In the coming weeks, construction will also begin on a Top Golf facility across the street from the retail giant.

Those major projects, along with other lower-profile developments of business headquarters and tech parks, will bring thousands more people to Fishers, both to live and visit.

It also means a lot of construction and heavier traffic.

"It’s definitely a big impact in my day to day now," driver Brian Walker said.

Walker works next to the new IKEA site, and said he often tries to leave early to beat the heavy traffic.

"Our boss understands, he lets us leave a little early if (we) know it’s going to be a few lanes closed down or it looks like it’s backing up," Walker said.

Nearby, Rick Tuck has been watching the traffic and construction from his home. He's the closest, just yards away from the new IKEA Way road that is under construction.

Tuck's home, along with others in his neighborhood, is being bought out by developers. In fact, he's in the process of moving this week.

"We were getting surrounded and it was ... time to get out," Tuck said.

Fishers is trying to keep things moving by adding a lane to 116th Street and the new 106th Street interchange off I-69. Both projects are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

There have been setbacks in the city's growth, though. Earlier this year, the Mayor moved to slow down development between 106th and 116th in the IKEA area, in order to keep things from getting out of hand.

A $76 million sports complex project also stalled, after developers failed to secure funding.

Overall, though, Fishers is gaining in its economic development, and it will have a lot of work underway through 2017. Both Tuck and Walker were optimistic that the work and headaches won't last forever.

"It seems like they’ve got a handle on it," Tuck said.