By Sadie Hunter
A project to update Ind. 37 in Hamilton County, ridding the corridor of all stoplights from 126th Street in Fishers through the Ind. 32/38/37 interchange in Noblesville, has been in the works for years.
Now, contractors RQAW Consulting Engineers & Architects and American Structurepoint representatives have announced ways they will continue to study traffic on the highway and nearby corridors to help mitigate traffic issues during future construction of the first phase of the project, from 126th to 146th streets.
In a quarterly meeting hosted by RQAW for business owners and stakeholders along the corridor Sept. 21 at Ben & Ari’s in Fishers, Erik Farny, project manager for American Structurepoint, discussed traffic management tools the firm plans to use: finalizing the display for current and upcoming projects in the area, utilizing Bluetooth devices to collect origin-destination information and building models to begin running traffic scenarios.
“So, if you have Bluetooth turned on your phone, they know when you’ve entered the corridor and when you left the corridor, and where you did it at,” Farny said. “Why that’s important is they know, instead of just counting how many cars drive up and down (Ind.) 37, they know how many cars came up 37 and went west on 126th Street, or how many cars came across 131st to go up to 146th to go across. It helps us because we can better plan the traffic. So they’ve been completing that over the past couple of months. They have all their preliminary data put in place.”
Now, contractors are using Bluetooth data to assemble a theoretical model.
“We can plug in and say, ‘If we close this road, what happens to all the other roads?’” Farny said. “That gives us a better idea to be able to tell you guys that if this (road) gets shut down or reduced to one lan … we can better predict how to mitigate that measure in the future than just kind of throwing out a hope and a prayer.”
By mid-November, RQAW will submit the first part of its construction plan to the Indiana Dept. of Transportation and the City of Fishers for review, which Farny said could take approximately one month.
“So I would imagine by the first of next year, we’ll have a good plan that we can come to (stakeholders) with and say, ‘OK, this is our preliminary footprint that we have for this,’ to get some feedback from you and for you to see what we’ve been laying out,” Farny said.