FISHERS, Ind. – IKEA announced Tuesday that it plans to open its Fishers location in early October and with that comes concerns from local residents about an increased amount of traffic in the area.
“It’s already hard to get off the freeway here as it is and I think it’s going to make it worse,” Fishers resident Meghan Brown said. “(The traffic is) horrible. Especially in the morning time and to get to downtown it takes you about 45 minutes.”
As part of the deal to attract IKEA, Fishers city leaders agreed to have two road projects finished before the retailer’s opening; the 106th Street exit of I-69 and the lane widening project along 116th Street.
“It’s been quite a process from the announcement, to the groundbreaking and now ultimately a ribbon cutting at IKEA on October 11,” Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said. “We’re excited. We are getting prepared. We are making sure our road construction projects are done. That our police department, traffic engineers, everyone is dialed in so we can have a great grand opening while at the same time allowing Fishers residents to go about their day.”
The mayor said those projects have been completed and city will be off the hook for any penalties associated with that part of the deal, but now Fadness and other Hamilton County leaders are looking down the road at other projects that will improve congestion in the area.
Crews are currently doing an environmental study along US 37. Workers are expected to break ground on a $124 million improvement project to the road in 2019.
Next week, INDOT leaders will hold a public input session on the best way to improve the I-69 and I-465 interchange.
INDOT will have three different options for attendees to look at and weigh in on.
“We will be watching very closely as to what it is they plan to do and what their investments look like and what the time line is," Fadness said. "But it should be welcome news to Fishers and Noblesville to see that that particular corner of 465 is going to see some much needed upgrades.”
INDOT will hold its meeting on the I-69 and I-465 interchange Wednesday, August 23 at Heritage Christian High School at 6 p.m.