INDOT to have hearing on State Road 9 project

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GREENFIELD — Residents have a chance next week to speak out about next year’s resurfacing of State Road 9 — a project that will bottleneck drivers during construction and change the road’s traffic flow.

The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to repave Greenfield’s main north/south thoroughfare in 2020, from the Interstate 70 interchange in Greenfield to U.S. 52 in Shelby County. Significantly, the project also calls for the addition of medians in several locations between the interstate and McKenzie Road, replacing the middle turn lane, in order to improve safety.

Representatives with INDOT will have a public hearing on the topic at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in the Greenfield Central Junior High School cafeteria, 1440 N. Franklin St. There, members of the public can view the current design plans for the resurfacing project and comment on it, an INDOT news release states.

Anyone who speaks during the meeting will be recorded for public record, and residents can also submit written comments to INDOT about the project before and during the public hearing as well as for two weeks following the meeting. INDOT requests comments be submitted by Dec. 2.

The access control aspect of the project — median installation — would remove the middle turn lane in seven locations and replace it with a landscaped median and dedicated left turn lanes. The City of Greenfield has agreed to pay for the design, installation and upkeep of the medians. INDOT typically fills in medians with asphalt or concrete; city officials wants to incorporate landscaping and a unique design.

Jason Koch, city engineer, has previously told the Daily Reporter that the architectural firm in charge of the median design — Hitchcock Design Group — has planned out the medians to include grass, flowers, small trees, decorative street lights and features mimicking the two stone beacons — not the large pillars — at the I-70 interchange. Koch said the city wants to enhance the look of its “front door” off I-70.

The seven medians will stretch between each stoplight intersection along State Road 9 — such as between Muskegon and McClarnon drives — with a narrow strip of concrete curb on either side leading to the middle of the median that will incorporate landscaping, according to a tentative design shared during the summer.

Koch said the state studied the road and determined that removing the middle lane could reduce crashes. Instead of turning left into restaurants and stores directly from the highway, Koch said drivers will have to turn left at stoplights and navigate side streets off State Road 9 or make U-turns at lights.

Greenfield Mayor Chuck Fewell said Koch and the city’s traffic safety officers will study ways to best use side streets that run near State Road 9 when construction is under way.

The median installation and resurfacing is expected to cost $4 million, and the project will be let in March 2020, according to INDOT’s website and spokeswoman Mallory Duncan. The city’s contribution to the State Road 9 beautification project could cost up to $500,000 in 2020, according to the Greenfield Redevelopment Commission’s five-year tax increment financing plan.

During construction, through traffic will be closed and non-local drivers can use U.S. 52, I-465, U.S. 40 and State Road 109. One lane will remain open at any given time for local traffic, according to INDOT.

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WHAT: Public hearing on State Road 9 resurface/median project

WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14

WHERE: Greenfield Central Junior High School cafeteria, 1440 N. Franklin St., Greenfield

INFO: The public can verbally submit their statements for the record during the public hearing or write them down before, during and for a period of two weeks following the hearing, according to INDOT. Written comments may be submitted prior to the public hearing and up until Dec. 2 to INDOT Public Hearings, IGCN Room N642, 100 N. Senate Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46204; or via e-mail to [email protected].

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