Ambitious construction season coming soon in Carmel

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Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has less than two years left in his term. He plans on running again, but even before this term is up Carmel could look quite different because a long list of construction projects should be completed by then — some of which haven’t  broken ground yet.

Brainard said he doesn’t expect 2018 to have as many road closures as 2017. But there’s an ambitious schedule nonetheless.

“We’re going to do what’s right for the community and get the projects done,” he said. “We’re not going to rush them, but I always like to get in and get out so we don’t affect nearby businesses, and it actually costs us less by doing it faster.”

The schedule includes transforming the Monon Greenway into a boulevard that will widen the current 12-foot wide path into a multi-faceted, 140-foot wide right-of-way section with new dedicated lanes for cycling, buffer zones, sidewalks, green spaces, one-way streets with additional parking on either side of the trail and a new Midtown Plaza.

Some work has already begun, but trail closures could begin this summer. A large amount of the project will be complete and reopened by fall 2018.

“The Monon reconfiguration will be a huge benefit to the city,” Brainard said. “We can handle more users. Dog leashes won’t be caught in bicycle spokes.”

Range Line Road will take a new shape as the city begins work on the road from Carmel Drive to Main Street. The center lane will be eliminated and replaced with a median. Wider paths will be added to both sides to make the key corridor in Carmel’s urban core easier to use for pedestrians and cyclists.

Brainard said much of the work on the 96th Street and Keystone Parkway interchange will be complete in 2019, but some might take longer because the city wants to avoid a complete closure.

“At this point, the plan is to leave it open,” he said. “Some of it might not be done until 2020.”

Meanwhile, roundabouts along 96th Street at Hazel Dell Parkway, Haverstick Road, Gray Road, Delegates Row and Priority Way are scheduled for work in spring and summer 2018.

Brainard said he wants work to begin this summer on a new roundabout at 116th Street and Range Line Road. The shopping center at the southwest corner has been razed to make way for a new mixed-use development, meaning construction should have less of an impact on adjacent businesses. Brainard said the gas station on the southeast corner is for sale. The project is scheduled for 2018 completion, with partial access throughout. The intersection will be closed for north-south connectivity but will remain open for east-west connectivity.

In addition, the Monon and Main mixed-use development is under construction.  Anthony’s Chophouse is planning for a spring 2018 opening.

Although financing is under way, Brainard said The Carmichael, a luxury hotel and private-public partnership between Pedcor and the Carmel Redevelopment Commission, should be on schedule for a spring 2018 groundbreaking. If all goes according to plan, guests could be checking in by fall 2019.

Other projects have been delayed.

The Proscenium, a mixed-use project at Carmel Drive and Range Line, is seeing significant progress after utility work delayed some construction. Brainard said the progress will be visible this spring.

The proposed expansion of the Carmel Police Dept. headquarters has been delayed because it relies on Huntington Bank relocating from its current location next to the project site. Huntington plans to construct a new building along Range Line Road next to Kroger where Walgreens was located. The City of Carmel would like to see a multi-story building be constructed instead of the smaller building Huntington has proposed, so Brainard said officials are working through the plans but that Huntington has been a great partner.


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