The Pleasant Street extension project is moving forward in Noblesville.
The Noblesville City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved spending up to $3.75 million for planning, design, permitting and property acquisition.
The city has spent more than 20 years discussing options for a major east-west connector to help travelers bypass downtown traffic. In December, city officials presented four route options at a public meeting, but Pleasant Street was the preferred option.
The other possibilities included Conner Street, South/Irving Street and Carbon Street, with overall project costs varying from $27.5 million to $70 million.
The $41 million Pleasant Street option would add travel lanes, signalized intersections and roundabouts from State Road 37 to west of the White River. The price tag increases to $70 million if the anticipated roundabout interchange at SR 37 is included.
Pleasant Street is expected to have the greatest impact on reducing traffic on Conner Street and provide the lowest cost on a per-vehicle basis, but it would also have the biggest impact on residential areas.
Despite ongoing concerns from residents, city officials argued that progress needs to be made on the planning and design of the roadway before the true impacts can be understood.
The decision by the council does not finalize Pleasant Street as the route. City engineer John Beery said after planning and design is complete, city officials will present the results for feedback at another public meeting. The funding approved Tuesday night would not cover construction costs.
Funding sources for the $2.75 million in design and permitting expenses and $1 million in property acquisition has not been determined, but city attorney Mike Howard said officials expect to use cash on hand.
“We do not anticipate any debt for this phase of the project,” Howard said.
Construction is still years away, and no exact timeline has been determined.
“This project is obviously one that will take some time,” Mayor John Ditslear said.
The council voted 8-0 to approve the funding. Council president Megan Wiles was not present.