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Businesses cite losses due to stalled State Road 37 project in Fishers

Closure of 141st Street at State Road 37 bad for business in Fishers

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Fishers city government first restricted the intersection of 141st Street and State Road 37 in 2022.

The city had planned to build an elevated roundabout, but budgetary reasons stopped the proposal. Instead, the city announced in November 2022 that the intersection would be made a right-in, right-out, with a “right turn only” both onto and from the divided highway of State Road 37.

Businesses near the intersection say they’re losing money and customers.

Mason Odle, owner of Just Vapor, said, “Business has been great up until Jan. 16, 2023, until they shuttered the intersection.”

Vape sales have dropped up to 30%. His store was empty Wednesday afternoon. The parking lot was empty, too. He says customers almost daily complain that the restricted intersection takes them on a detour to get to the store, making a two-minute commute from State Road 37 into a drive of 10 to 15 minutes.

Hieu Ngo, owner of LG Nails, says he used to have from 10 to 15 customers a day. “Now, it’s slow, around four customers a day.”

Ngo says it’s a big loss. “I lose around $10,000-15,000 a year.”

Both business owners were hopeful that construction will start again soon. The vape store owner said, “I appreciate the progress, and sometimes it takes pain, but when you shut down an intersection for a year and don’t do anything with that intersection, it’s frustrating.

Fishers city government did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.

In July 2022, News 8 reported soaring construction costs forced an indefinite delay on the 141st Street roundabout. Engineers initially estimated the cost of the 141st Street roundabout at $26.6 million, but the three bids the Fishers government received were for $49.4 million, $39.9 million and $32.9 million. Pausing the project was the best way possible to use taxpayer dollars, city leaders decided.

In November 2022, city officials told News 8 that they were hopeful that new bids could be sought in autumn 2023 at lower estimates. Officials also had planned an advertising campaign to increase awareness and to promote access to businesses at 141st Street.

(37Thrives via Zoom)
A view of 141st Street and State Road 37 is shown April 24, 2024, on the border of Fishers and Noblesville, Indiana. (WISH Photo)