Members of the public recently got a chance to weigh in and ask questions about a $115 million road improvement project in Noblesville that is expected to improve traffic flow and ease congestion when completed.
The city held an open house March 23 at Noblesville City Hall that drew more than 30 people, who came to learn more about the project known as Reimagine Pleasant Street that is being done in several phases. The first phase of the project, which began in November 2022, spans 1.1 miles from River Road to 10th Street and includes work by Hamilton County for a bridge to be built over the White River.
Mayor Chris Jensen told those in attendance that the project was his top priority when he took office in 2020, while City Engineer Alison Krupski said the multi-phase project is meant to create what she described as a free-flowing corridor.
“It’s not just vehicular mobility, but pedestrian mobility as well,” Krupski said.
While the first phase remains underway with bridge construction continuing through June, the second phase from 11th to 19th streets will create a four-lane section with a median, and work on the Midland Trace Trail, in addition to a 19th Street roundabout expansion.
The third phase from Ind. 32 to River Road will eventually establish a two-lane section with the potential for expansion, along with connectivity to the Midland Trace Trail at Ind. 32 and Hague Road with pedestrian tunnels being planned, said Mike Maurovich, a project manager on the Pleasant Street project from engineering firm American Structurepoint. Maurovich also noted that it is possible that a full closure of Ind. 32 may be required.
But residents also got an opportunity to meet with officials working on the project to see proposed maps, timelines and ask questions. Among those in attendance was Noblesville resident Mary Rhea, who has lived in the city for 70 years and owns several properties.
Rhea said she isn’t in favor of the Pleasant Street project because of the impact on nearby homes and businesses in the area.
“I hate to see the old homes and businesses disturbed, moved and torn down,” Rhea said.
Still, Rhea said she realizes there’s not much she can do except move forward.
“You’ve got to go with progress. That’s just the way it is,” she said.
Asked if she thought the project would result in improvements in the long run, she said, “Maybe, maybe. I hope so.”
Another resident, Martha Repp, said she decided to attend the open house because she was interested in learning more about the project. She hopes it will eventually alleviate traffic in Noblesville when work is completed.
“If you drive through Noblesville today, you have quite a bit of problems, so hopefully it’ll reroute some of the pressure off that,” Repp said. “Traffic is a horrible issue in this town.”
Krupski said the open house was an opportunity for officials to hear from individuals and incorporate their feedback into final plans. A previous public forum resulted in feedback from a resident about a pedestrian crossing from the south side of Pleasant Street to the north side, Krupski said.
“If someone hadn’t said something to us, we wouldn’t have necessarily thought about adding an extra measure of safety to do that, so I think (public feedback) is critical,” Krupski said.
Krupski also said safety remains a top priority as part of the Pleasant Street project. While the general public isn’t seeing a lot of work being done, Krupski cautioned that the public can expect to see road work beginning in May, which could result in some closures or detours for motorists.
Krupski suggested that the public use Google Maps or Apple Maps to get where they need to go, while information will also be available on the city’s social media pages on Facebook and Twitter as well. Still, she encouraged people to be patient in the coming months as work begins to ramp up.
“Be patient and it’ll be worth it,” Krupski said. “I’ll be looking forward to hearing from everybody once the project is complete because we’re super confident it’ll be something that the public likes.”
What to know about Reimagine Pleasant Street
The first phase, which is underway, includes a new bridge being constructed over the White River that is being funded by Hamilton County and will be open to traffic by the end of 2024. Phase 2 of Reimagine Pleasant Street will involve work from 10th Street to Ind. 37, while the final phase will be from River Road to Hague Road. The entire project is expected to be finished by the fall of 2025, according to the city. For more, visit reimaginepleasantst.com.