The City of Carmel has awarded a $28.8 million construction contract for the roundabout interchange that will be built at 96th Street and Keystone Parkway in spring 2018.
Goshen-based Rieth-Riley Construction Inc. won the contract, coming in $3 million less than the initial project estimates of $32 million.
Funding for the roundabout construction was approved in January 2016 soon after Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard began his sixth term. He made the proposed Keystone Parkway and 96th Street roundabout a key campaign promise in the May 2015 city elections. He won with 63 percent of the vote in 2015 and has said he’s likely going to run for a seventh term in 2019.
Brainard said the roundabout interchange is needed because traffic backs up in that area, which is harmful for local businesses and annoying for motorists who commute to downtown Indianapolis or elsewhere.
The project will reconstruct the existing traffic light intersection by creating a bridge over 96th street so north and south Keystone traffic will not have to stop. East and west traffic on 96th Street will be controlled by the multi-lane teardrop roundabout that will travel under Keystone. The project also includes upgrading 96th Street from Enterprise Drive to Haverstick Road, where there will be a roundabout constructed. The project will be built in phases, starting in March 2018. Brainard said preliminary work has already begun. There will be no full closure of the intersection during construction.
“It’s going to be tough,” Brainard said. “The intersection will remain partially open, and so it will be constructed under traffic conditions, which is always harder. We just want to tell people to slow down and be aware of construction workers for their safety.”
The city also received bids from around $30 million to $34 million from Walsh Construction, Beaty Construction Inc., Superior Construction and Milestone Contractors.
The city also is waiting to hear what a judge rules in response to an injunction filed by the City of Indianapolis to prevent construction on roundabouts along 96th Street at Hazel Dell Parkway, Gray Road, Delegates Row and Randall Drive. Indianapolis City County councilor Christine Scales opposes the projects, even though the City of Carmel would pay all costs. However, Indianapolis has not objected to the 96th and Keystone project.