CARMEL, Ind. — A busy section of Carmel’s Range Line Road closed earlier this week for a continuation of the ‘Streetscape project’ near the Monon Square Shopping Center.
City officials like Carmel Director of Engineering Jeremy Kashman said the project had to be delayed once for a utility issue and again for a parade.
“We originally had intended to start the project in early Spring, we had a minor utility delay, the main driving force there was this was the parade route on the Fourth of July,” Kashman said. “That said, this will be our 140th roundabout so we’ve learned a few things over the years on how we construct them, and the best thing to do is just get in, get out as quick as you can.”
Despite the delays and the quick turnaround promised, nearby business owners worry the timing of the project is still ill-advised.
“There’s just no easy way to get this thing done and unfortunately for us we have to deal with it and but like everything else… after you’ve been through the pandemic things get a little bit easier to deal with,” Owner of Jamaican Reggae Grill Eldon Chuck said. “When it comes to roads… sometimes it can get a little frustrating because it was delayed before so you could prepare for that initial happening.”
Summer, Chuck says, is his – and nearby Union Brewing Company’s busy season. He’s willing to serve any customers willing to take the detour to get to him as quick as possible.
“We’re still open,” Chuck said. “I suspect that even though this closedown that people will still support us. We may not get the quick stop traffic that would normally be going by and for the people who just don’t want to deal with the detours and so forth but, we’ll make it work.”
Luckily for Chuck and the other businesses who call Monon Square home, Kashman says the closure won’t last long and will be better for business in the long run.
“This was scheduled for a 60-day closure with completion just after Labor Day, we like to apply the appropriate amount of pressure to the contractors so that we get it done quick, but we don’t overpay in construction costs either,” Kashman said. “We’ll be reducing the road from five lanes to two, one coming in each direction, building a roundabout for what will be Walnut Street, and improving pedestrian and bicycle paths. We remove the traffic signal. Build a roundabout and we can process a lot more traffic through the roundabout, that allows us to keep our infrastructure small… because whatever we build today, we have to maintain tomorrow.”
The city simply hopes drivers remember businesses impacted by the closure while construction is underway with large white signs posted at the construction barricades to remind them.
“Give us a call and we can prepare ahead so you don’t have to spend a lot of time waiting but we’ll still be here,” Chuck said. “We’ll still be open.”