Hamilton County and the city of Carmel are collaborating on a much-anticipated road project that will allow motorists to access southbound Keystone Parkway from 146th Street—a connection that has been missing since the state upgraded U.S. 31 in that area.
County Commissioners Christine Altman and Mark Heirbrandt joined city officials and residents at a pair of neighborhood meetings April 20 to discuss plans for a flyover ramp
from Lowes Way to southbound Keystone; a second phase of the project would extend the roadway to Rangeline Road, where Carmel is building a roundabout.
(The county built a northbound off-ramp from Keystone to 146th via Lowes Way in 2002, when drivers heading south could access Keystone from nearby Greyhound Pass. But that intersection was eliminated during the U.S. 31 project.)
Design work on the new ramp is under way, and construction is expected to begin in 2018. First up: a roundabout to replace an existing stoplight on Lowes Way and new bridges over Cool Creek and Keystone.
Funding for the $12 million initial phase is coming from federal transportation grants ($4 million) and a tax-increment-financing district in the area. Any additional expenses will be shared by the county and Carmel.
Minimal right-of-way acquisition should begin next year, and the ramp is expected to open in 2020.
Another $5.5 million in federal funding is pending for the second phase of construction, which is expected to cost $6.9 million. The TIF and local governments will again pay the difference. Phase 2 includes a bridge over the Hagen-Burke Trail; design will begin when that federal funding is approved.
That part of the project isn’t scheduled to be built until 2021 because of when the federal funds will be released, but Carmel leaders are looking for ways to speed that up, Altman told residents.
The city and county also are collaborating on plans to improve intersections along 146th Street, a major east-west thoroughfare.
“The city and county have done a superb job of trying to plan for the future,” said State Sen. Luke Kenley, who also addressed the crowd.