A three-year construction project to turn State Road 37 into a free-flowing highway through Fishers and Noblesville officially began Monday.
The project—which aims to address traffic congestion and public safety challenges along State Road 37 from 126th Street to 146th Street—commenced Monday morning with a groundbreaking at 126th Street and State Road 37, where the first leg of construction begins.
State Road 37 will remain open throughout construction, which is expected to last through 2022. Two northbound and two southbound lanes will be open during each phase of construction.
The project has been a long time coming. Conversations about alleviating congestion on S.R. 37 from Interstate 69 to State Road 32 began in 2005 and revved up four years later, when Hamilton County leaders voted to study the corridor.
In late 2015, state and county officials announced that $100 million of state funding had been set aside to reconstruct two miles of the corridor—from 126th to 146th streets—and local officials had pledged to commit another $24 million to make the project a reality.
The project replaces signalized intersections at 126th, 131st, 141st and 146th streets with grade-separated interchanges. State Road 37 will be
reconstructed below grade to allow for continuous travel, while the crossroads will be reconstructed into roundabout interchanges (see image at right). The end result will be similar to Keystone Parkway and U.S. 31 through Hamilton County.
At 135th Street, the signal-controlled intersection will be replaced with a right-in, right-out configuration. The 135th street portion of the project will come last.
To alleviate the impact construction will have on businesses in the area, Hamilton County and the city of Fishers have teamed up on a business marketing campaign called 37Thrives. Residents can visit 37thrives.com for information about construction, as well as special events and discounts planned at area businesses. They can also use the website to map routes to businesses they need to visit.
For example, earlier this summer, Big Apple Bagels on East 126th Street, offered the mayor’s special: two free mini muffins with the purchase of a breakfast or lunch sandwich. Lockhart Cadillac, also located on East 126th Street, offered free tire rotation with any service rendered. More promotions and discounts are planned.
Officials are also using the 37Thrives Facebook page to promote area businesses, and have planned a stakeholder group meeting each month. The 37 Thrives Business Stakeholder Group meets the first Thursday of each month to keep business owners informed of project updates.
“The State Road 37 Improvement Project will bring better access and better driving experience for the more than 50,000 vehicles that travel the corridor each day,” Ashley Elrod, director of public relations for the city of Fishers, said in written comments. “Hamilton County and the city of Fishers (are) committed to ensuring SR 37 continues to be a thriving place for business, residents, and culture in our community. That commitment will continue through the construction period with our 37Thrives campaign.”