Hamilton County considering $124M State Road 37 redesign

Traffic signal intersections along a portion of State Road 37 in Hamilton County could be converted into roundabout-overpasses under a $124 million proposal expected to be officially announced Dec. 10 by transportation officials.

Hamilton County Council member Rick McKinney said the council received limited information from the county highway department at a meeting Wednesday morning.

The project would cover five intersections from 126th to 146th streets and would be paid for with $100 million in state funding, $12 million from Fishers and $12 million from the county.

The county previously had been discussing a $234 million project covering six miles of S.R. 37 from Interstate 69 to S.R. 32 in Noblesville, but the Noblesville section is no longer included. It would have replaced nine signalized intersections with roundabout interchanges, compared to the five included in the current proposal.

Nearly 45,000 vehicles travel the four-lane highway daily, according to data from the Indiana Department of Transportation.

McKinney said he believes the road needs improvements, but other options should be considered. The proposed design would be similar to Keystone Parkway in Carmel.

“It’s sort of been one way or no way,” McKinney said.

County council member Fred Glynn said it would be two to three years before construction starts.

McKinney said the council hasn’t seen any formal proposals or requests for the funding.

“I’m open-minded,” McKinney said. “But we’re talking lots of money and a huge dramatic change to that road.”

Last year, the council approved spending $80,000 to conduct an economic impact study of the proposed changes to the corridor. In the spring, the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners reviewed the preliminary results of a study prepared by Boston-based Economic Development Research Group Inc., which estimated benefits of $390 million.

The research showed the improvements would result in shorter travel times, improved reliability, lower vehicle operating costs, fewer crashes and reduced emissions. It would stimulate $725 million in new business sales within 25 years, and during the peak of construction, there would be 635 jobs generated. In the long term, there would be 172 permanent jobs created by 2040.

Fishers spokeswoman Autumn Gasior said the city couldn’t comment on the latest plans for the project.

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