HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. — Steve Renner has construction crews in his front yard and heavy machinery going down the driveway of his business just off 146th St.
Renner’s Body Works has been in that location just west of Allisonville Rd. for 30 years. He’s seen the intersection change a couple of times but never this much.
“They’ve got a lot of big, humongous cranes down there working on the bridge,” Renner said. “There is a lot of heavy machinery down here.”
Renner said his business hasn’t taken a hit, so far, and the dust the project kicks up is only a little irritating. The real problem is how fast traffic is going through the construction zone.
“The traffic is going too fast in these work zones,” Renner said. “They really, really need to do something to get these people to slow down.”
He said the speed has made it difficult for customers to turn into and out of his parking lot.
Despite this, Renner said the project is definitely needed.
“The traffic would be so back up, so stopped that you wouldn’t be getting anywhere,” Renner said.
However, he said that is still the case during the construction.
“It’s backed up at 4 o’clock, it’s backed up pretty heavily,” he said. “You gotta be real careful.”
Renner is looking forward to Summer 2025 when both roads will be fully open with the new intersection. Allisonville Road will be a roundabout and go under a raised 146th Street.
Brandi Tarner with the Hamilton County Highway Department said the project is on track, in part thanks to a dryer summer.
“It’s been really good for our guys to continue that bridge work with the bridge deck overlay coming within the next couple of months,” Tarner said.
The next big step will be a complete overnight closure of 146th Street west of Allisonville Rd. on October 25 from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. when Tarner said workers will set bridge beams.
“They’re going to be working very hard to make sure all four of those bridge beams are set overnight,” she said.
Tarner is hoping for a dry winter to continue bridge work.
Another major closure is expected in mid-March. A half-mile stretch of Allisonville Road crossing 146th Street between Kensington Drive and Helmsley Court will close for 90 days.
“That is going to create more headaches for everybody,” Renner said. “They’re just going to have to find different routes to get around.”
This closure will be happening when thousands will flock to central Indiana to be in the path of totality for the total Solar Eclipse on April 8.
Just south down Allisonville Road is Conner Prairie which will be a popular place for people to look up to the sky that day.
“We do expect an influx of traffic but with that detour route we think people will understand it is construction season this is a major interchange that is going on here,” Tarner said.
A spokesperson for Conner Prairie said they are updating guests on construction updates throughout the project.
“The advantage we have with the Eclipse festival is that we’ll be able to communicate specifically with all ticket holders well in advance about alternate routes and ensure they are aware of construction and possible closures ahead of their visit,” said Holly Pasquinelli, the Senior Manager of PR and Communications at Conner Prairie.