CARMEL, Ind. — The traffic lights are down and construction has started on the newest roundabout in Carmel. The intersection of Medical Dr. and S Range Line Rd. is now closed to through traffic for the next month-and-a-half.
The project also involves a roundabout at the intersection of S. Range Line Rd. and 116th St. That construction will begin in May.
Employees at businesses near the intersection are already seeing drivers cut through their parking lots to get around the closure at Medical Dr.
”Cars come whipping through here, especially during the lunch hour, it’s hard,” said Kadin Trenshaw, a worker at the AutoZone.
Trenshaw and his coworker Sky Krause said traffic has picked up in their parking lot and not from more customers.
”We get a lot of them all at once sometimes, and ever since they closed it down there’s been a lot more traffic coming through this lot,” Krause said.
They’re warning customers and other employees to be extra cautious walking to their cars.
”If they’ve got things in their hands and they’re not paying attention they can easily get hit,” said Trenshaw.
Cars are using parking lots on both sides of the closure to sneak around the blocked off intersection of Medical Dr. and S Range Line Rd.
”There will be a lot of traffic going through the parking lots, for sure,” said Virendra Summanwar, a driver who frequents the area and said he’s already noticed more traffic.
Carmel Director of Engineering Jeremy Kashman said they expect people to cut the detours when construction starts.
“What we tend to see is through the first couple of days, traffic has its way of finding its own way,” Kashman said. “We kind of say it flows like water, so I think right now is a little but of that initial shock.”
Kashman said the city will be keeping close watch of how the closure impacts traffic and see if they need to change plans.
”We’ll keep an eye on what is working, what isn’t working and then supplement with some additional signage if we need to,” Kashman said.
The detour the City of Carmel wants drivers to take is Keystone Parkway or Guilford Rd. to Carmel Dr. This will take drivers around the closure at Medical Dr. and Range Line Rd.
Kashman said the roundabout at Medical Dr. is expected to be finished by May, then crews will move down Range Line and build a two-lane roundabout at its intersection at 116th St.
”The end goal for the 116th St. and Range Line Rd. roundabout is to be able to process the right amount of vehicles through that intersection,” said Kashman. “In the evening we have backups at the traffic signal that are pretty lengthy.”
The construction at 116th and Range Line will not close the entire intersection. One lane will remain open for through traffic. Kashman said this construction will happen in two 80-day periods and will finish up in the Fall.
The project will also add new landscaped medians between 116th St. and Medical Dr. and Carmel Dr. and Medical Dr. There will also be multi-use paths on either side of Range Line Rd. between 116th St. and Carmel Dr.
During this time, drivers are asked to be careful.
”Pay attention, follow the detour signs,” Kashman said. “Obviously, the first time you travel through the area it’s a little tougher. If you do take a route that’s off the beaten path just be mindful of pedestrians.”