By Ann Marie Shambaugh
Carmel officials confirmed that they are on pace to complete all of the dozens of projects funded through $242 million in bonds approved in January within four years.
The City Council approved a resolution May 16 that outlines the city’s interest in purchasing land for 38 of those projects. Most will transform intersections into roundabouts, while other projects involve trails, road reconstruction and streetscapes.
Councilor Kevin Rider questioned whether the city could complete the lengthy list of projects in four years and still allow traffic to flow with so many sites slated for construction.
“The key is to be able to space these projects out during this term. We need to start all these now,” Mayor Jim Brainard said. “It doesn’t mean construction will take place this year or next year, but it’s important the conversation can start.”
City Engineer Jeremy Kashman said the city has experience in this area, citing the transformation of intersections along Keystone Parkway into roundabouts. Like it did with that project, the city plans to meet monthly with affected business owners and create a website to keep the public aware of road closures and other issues.
Councilor Sue Finkam asked that the city fast track the website so it is available before any of the projects break ground.
“I think you underestimate the number of calls and emails we get,” she said. “Someone spray paints a sidewalk and I’m getting a call.”