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West 10th Street to be rerouted in Speedway

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The town of Speedway will reroute West 10th Street to help Allison Transmission consolidate its parking lots and accommodate new employees tied to a hybrid transmission the company is developing.

Details of the 10th Street plan and Allison's hiring are to be unveiled Tuesday afternoon.

"This allows them to create a more efficient and safe environment," said Vince Noblet, president of the Speedway Redevelopment Commision.

Allison's jobs announcement is tied to the hybrid transmission that's slated to hit production in late 2012, Noblet said.

Last summer, Allison said it would invest $130 million in its headquarters and manufacturing complex to make room for work on hybrid systems for commercial vehicles. It planned to use a $62.8 million Department of Energy grant and $67.2 million of its own. About 100 new and retained jobs were to be associated with the project, the company said then.

Speedway, the city of Indianapolis and state will pay for the new road, Noblet said. The plan is to move 10th Street north from east of Polco Street to Main Street.  The route will cut across Allison's north parking lot, but any spaces lost will be regained in the roadbed's former footprint.

The company, which has its headquarters at 4700 W. 10th St., employs about 2,000 people in offices and manufacturing facilities. West 10th Street currently divides the main parking lots.

Rerouting 10th Street would tie into the town of Speedway's ongoing $500 million "Speed Zone" redevelopment, which aims to bring business back to Main Street and create pedestrian zones around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Work on Main Street began this year. Other components of the 10-year project include rerouting 16th Street to the south, away from the track, to create a pedestrian zone near the track. The plan also calls for closing Georgetown Road south of 25th Street, diverting traffic to Lynhurst Drive, to create a park and pedestrian promenade alongside the track.

The town has already vacated Grande Avenue south of 10th Street, where it cuts through the Allison campus.

Allison, the world's largest maker of fully automatic commercial transmissions, also is planning an initial public offering worth an estimated $750 million.

Earlier this month, President Obama canceled a scheduled trip to the Speedway plant amid the threat of a federal government shutdown.

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