Grand Prix of Indianapolis offers first test of new Speedway roundabout

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SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 8, 2015)-- The Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis weekend will be a big test for traffic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). The new Main Street roundabout opened in November, and Georgetown Road does not connect to that roundabout.

Fans flocking to IMS will notice the changes to the lay of the land.

"It takes a little getting used to. We had to change our way we got here," said Mike Harping.

Race fans said the roundabout is confusing at first. We found many people caught at the dead end and having to turn around.

"I've been coming around here for many years," said Chris Volz, "I didn't know they closed Georgetown Road."

As part of the plan, Georgetown Road is no longer a through street and dead ends at the IMS office. The IMS Safety Committee made the request, worrying about the closeness of the grandstands and fans, to Georgetown Road.

Those who frequent the track are concerned about the traffic headaches for unfamiliar drivers.

"We had a lot of people that asked what's going on," said T.J. Thomas, "We tell them, that roundabout's taken over everything. I think they're going to have problems around it myself."

Speedway Police said the Angie's List Grand Prix will be a good test run for the Indianapolis 500. They're having to adjust their traffic strategy though and will be watching Saturday to see if east and west bound traffic backs up on Crawfordsville Road and 16th Street.

"It's the first race, so we'll sit back and see how it works and see if there's any adjustments we need to make for future races," said Lt. Trent Theobald, with Speedway Police.

IMS officials remain hopeful the roundabout will be a good change long-term.

"It is sort of an unknown though, because we've never done it at event time. So it'll be interesting to see, and we'll make adjustments as the day goes on if we need to. And certainly we'll evaluate as we get through the Angie's List Grand Prix and prepare for qualifying weekend and the Indy 500 when it gets here," said Doug Boles, IMS President.

Speedway Police will close Georgetown Road at 25th Street on Saturday to any traffic without a special placard.

For detailed traffic changes and updated routes to get around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, click here.

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