WESTFIELD, Ind. - Westfield leaders hope a multi-million-dollar construction project will transform the city’s downtown.
Plans are in the works to expand Main St., also known as State Road 32. This expansion has been something Westfield has been wanting to do for about a decade.
Bumper to bumper traffic, in the heart of downtown Westfield.
“We have nowhere else for the traffic to go,” said Westfield Mayor Andy Cook.
Mayor Cook calls it an exciting problem.
“For being a state highway, the traffic is not going to go away,” he said.
The Westfield City Council recently approved an agreement with the Indiana Department of Transportation for a more than $15 million project.
“We’ve worked really hard to make this a destination for families,” said Mayor Cook.
Those families can expect Main Street to look a lot different in a few years. State Road 32 will be widened from one lane in each direction, to two lanes in each direction. A new roundabout will also be built on East Street.
Amber Noone is the owner of Bash Boutique located right on Main St. She says, the traffic is a problem.
“It is congested. It’s definitely backed up. We see several cars just sitting at the traffic lights looking in our windows,” said Noone.
Noone is anticipating the increased traffic flow. She says, her biggest concern for her business is parking.
“A lot of people right now if they park on the street, they are a little scared to get out of their car because people are going pretty fast,” Noone added.
The city is growing fast, too. Westfield gains about 1,000 new residents a year.
“Westfield downtown proper is really coming back,” said Noone.
Expanding the roads, to drive in more redevelopment.
It’s important to note, that not all businesses are looking forward to the expansion of Main St. We spoke with a few people off camera who said, they will probably have to close up shop.
“The fact that they possibly could not be there and have to go somewhere else is a little disturbing,” Noone said,
The Indiana Department of Transportation and the City of Westfield is splitting the cost for this major construction project.
Mayor Cook says, Westfield is actually paying for this in cash, which is very rare for communities to do.
When asked how that’s able to happen, he said, “All new homes, all new developments commercially pay a traffic impact fee for each new permit that gets taken out, so over the next four years we’re going to save our money and use the cash to make this improvement.”
Construction is not expected to begin until 2022. The project is set to be completed by 2024.