HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (December 9 ,2015) - Governor Mike Pence will announce a major infrastructure project Thursday morning. The project is a $124 million road construction project along State Road 37 in Hamilton County.
The goal of the project is to reduce traffic through nine intersections from 126th to 146th Streets through Fishers and Noblesville.
Hamilton County Council at-large member, Rick McKinney said he's unsure about the project because he hasn't received much information, even one day before the major announcement.
"The county council has not had any communication from the county commissioners and we’ve heard that there’s a meeting tomorrow with the governor to announce some funding for the project," McKinney said.
He said his council has not been involved in planning and only a select group of people from the county and state know the details. He does know the state will contribute $100 million towards the project, however Hamilton County is responsible for an additional $12 million and Fishers an additional $12 million on top of that.
“It is a state road. I think they are the ones that should contribute the lions share of the money and we at the county are willing to contribute money and hopefully have some input into that design," McKinney said.
Part of that design, he said, would look into if a multi million dollar project this expansive is even necessary.
“They might be over improving 37," he said.
McKinney added, the project would not begin until 2018. He said in the meantime, he hopes the state and county could come up with a different solution for traffic problems along that stretch of road.
"Improving how 69 dumps onto 465, putting maybe some additional lanes on 37, putting right turn only lanes, changing the timing of the stoplights," McKinney suggested.
There are others unsure about the project as well, including business leaders along State Road 37. They formed a coalition, fearing the three to four years to complete the project may run their businesses into the ground.
“The business are concerned. They don’t want to have a similar effect as to what happened on Keystone in Carmel, where many businesses in the merchants square, merchants point plazas went out of business and years after the construction are still vacant spaces.”
McKinney said while he realizes the announcement of the project Thursday likely means it's a done deal, he wishes the county would have been involved in the input and planning phases.
“We have to have meetings held both with the businesses and with other elected officials to make sure that our questions are answered and the citizens questions are answered before final agreements are signed," he said.