Officials respond to timing of Range Line, Carmel Drive intersection closures
On Aug. 15, vehicle after vehicle could be seen driving up to Range Line Road and Carmel Drive only to encounter an orange- and white-striped barricade.
That’s because the intersection is closed for 90 days as the city creates a new roundabout.
Many cars cut through the Kroger parking lot and then either turned back around or exited past the gas station.
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said city officials sent out releases and worked with news media to alert people of the construction.
“The first day of a closure is always the worst,” Brainard said. “And the rainy weather didn’t help any. A lot of people will find other ways to go for the first few days. To the extent that that doesn’t work well, we’ll deploy officers and place signage to let people know about detours and where they need to go. I talked to a number of people who — despite all of the information we put out — weren’t aware of it until they saw that the road was closed. That’s why the first day is always the worst.”
Brainard encouraged people to visit CarmelLink.com for updates and detours. He said he hopes people find their way to businesses at that intersection so they aren’t hurt financially.
“We’re encouraging people to patronize those businesses during the closure,” he said. “But what we’re really doing is trying to get in and get out and reopen the closure as quickly as possible. That’s the most important thing we can do for them. This might have been a year-long, partial closure, but instead, it’s a 90-day, full closure. It might be less, but the contractor is going to need help from the weather.”
City Council President Ron Carter said he knows residents have asked why this construction is going on at the same time as the road construction at Range Line and 126th Street. He said people have also asked why this was done just as school starts back up. He explained that the bonds for these projects couldn’t be approved until January because the new city council needed to vote on the new bonds. From then, the bonds needed to be sold and engineers needed to draw up plans for construction. As a result, he said construction took time to get started.
Brainard also noted that the construction coincides with the sale of the land where Party Time Rental was located. As a result, Anderson Birkla took over the property from the city and can demolish the building and begin infrastructure improvements while the city has the intersection closed. The former Arby’s building will also be demolished soon, Brainard said.