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116th Street closed in downtown Fishers for tunnel construction

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — The busiest street in downtown Fishers was shut down Tuesday.

For the next two months, 116th Street will be closed while crews build a pedestrian tunnel underneath the road for the Nickel Plate Trail. The goal is for walkers, runners and cyclists to safely navigate the four-lane road no matter what time of day or night it is.

Thai Sushi House is about 100 yards west of the action. “Yes, we are worried because two months is a long time,” said employee Yuen Cadisal.

The closure comes at a time that in many ways couldn’t be any worse, after a year’s worth of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. While Cadisal and other employees expected a slow day, at least for the first day, there was no drop in customer traffic. But, only time will tell.

“We’re going to lose some customers, especially those who don’t know the restaurant and first-timers,” Cadisal said.

Pat Carlini, who lives in Fishers, walks the trail often. She’s not thrilled either. “To close this is just awful,” she said. “It’s really tough because the hard part is this is a major way that we have and there’s not a good way around it.”

But, not everyone shares the same sentiment. Just east of the closure sits The Gypsy Nest Boutique, a beauty salon and boutique. “I’m very excited about the progression,” said stylist C.J. Sizemore.

Sizemore said it’s hard and dangerous to cross 116th on the Nickel Plate Trail. With more restaurants opening up in the area and other activities, she believes there are more people who want to do so than ever. The danger of 116th Street is why she does her exercise walking elsewhere and avoids the trail. “Without question, downtown Fishers, yeah,” Sizemore said.

She believes the two months of headaches are well worth the trade-off of getting a safe crossing under Fishers’ busiest road downtown. “Absolutely. Hopefully it’s just two months,” Sizemore said with a laugh.

Meanwhile, Aug. 1 cannot come soon enough for Thai Sushi House. “I hope so. I hope so,” Cadisal said.

The construction is part of the Nickel Plate Trail Master Plan, unveiled in 2019. When the tunnel is complete, the trail will be fully connected in a paved route all the way from 106th to 131st.

As for drivers, the preferred detour route takes you south on Lantern Road, down to 106th and back up to 116th on Hague Road.

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