HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (December 4, 2015) - Business owners in Hamilton County are concerned new changes proposed to State Road 37 could negatively impact their sales during construction phases.
The $243 million project would transform nine intersections from traffic lights to roundabouts from 126th to 146th Streets.
Claude and Annie's restaurant and bar sits right in the middle. Owner, Bill Smythe says he first heard about the plans last year, but hasn't heard anything since then. He's concerned the changes would impact his business and reduce customers during construction.
“This a 3-3/12 mile of the busiest commerce section in the county. You can’t just shut the road down and expect us to be viable," Smythe said.
Smythe created a business owners alliance. So far, more than 60 other businesses are on board. Smythe hopes to increase that number as more information about the project is released. He said right now, there's more questions than answers.
“During the period, again, undefined, that we will have to suffer an absence of business or at least a reduction of business. How much or how long? We still don’t know," he said.
The goal of the business owners alliance is to make sure the voices of the business community are heard. Smythe said he's not opposing or supporting the plans. He just wants more information about how it will impact his business.
“We have to manage our businesses. We have to hire people and allocate inventory and if we don’t know when the roads going to be torn up or how long the road is going to be tore up, it’s very difficult to manage a business," Smythe said.
The plans are expected to be officially announced by county leaders and Governor Pence on Thursday, December 10.