By Christine Fernando
Zionsville residents gathered Wednesday for a public meeting about the town’s plans to improve Zionsville Road.
The meeting gave residents an opportunity to ask town officials and project engineers from Beam, Longest and Neff how road construction will affect them. Construction is expected to take place from February to November 2018.
Zionsville mayor Tim Haak said Zionsville Road has heavy traffic but is also narrow at only 8 to 11 feet across for two lanes. Narrow roads with heavy traffic, especially on the old asphalt of the road, can be dangerous, he said.
“This is to improve the overall safety of the town of Zionsville,” he said.
Haak said the traffic can also make it difficult for residents along the road to enter and leave their properties.
One of these residents is Joseph Harding, who said he’s excited about the change the road may bring, especially knowing the state it’s in now.
“The road is falling apart,” he said. “It doesn’t seem safe. Getting across there almost feels like suicide sometimes.”
Construction on the road will stretch from Technology Center Drive to 106th Street. Because the road is at such a vital location, Haak said they hope to keep two lanes open at all times during construction.
The engineers have also set clear construction limits to keep from getting in the way of property owners along the road, he said.
Haak said design plans are should be finalized by December, but for now officials are looking at five alternatives for the project.
The five alternatives are:
• Two lanes with shoulder and open ditches
• Two lanes with curb, gutter and enclosed storm sewer
• Three lanes with shoulder and open ditches
• Three lanes with curb, gutter and enclosed storm sewer
• Three lanes with curb, gutter and enclosed storm sewer with shared-use path
Diagrams set out for attendees indicated the road will likely include a 10-foot shared-use path and two 12-foot travel lanes with a 14-foot turning lane in the middle. The diagrams also included four feet of space between the road and path.
Harding said he’s looking forward to the plans coming to fruition so that he can finally get some peace and quiet.
“The roads are rough, sounds like an explosion when a truck drives across,” he said. “Hopefully this project will change that.”