WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — Westfield city officials and Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) representatives held a public meeting for the first time Thursday to share details of a multimillion-dollar construction project that will be transforming parts of Westfield.
The project will cost $15 million to help ease traffic through Westfield’s downtown area. INDOT says they’re providing $7.5 million and Westfield is matching that amount to fund the project.
The construction isn’t slated to start until spring 2023 with a scheduled completion in the summer of 2024.
“The biggest thing is it’s going to continue to get worse over the next 10 to 20 years with the growth Westfield is seeing, so really now is the time to correct the issue and to be able to do it in a way that works with INDOT is a win-win for everyone,” said city engineer John Nail.
Three alternatives were presented for constructing State Road 32.
The first option would add a lane for eastbound and westbound traffic, while also adding a roundabout on the corner of East Street.
Making State Road 32 one-way going eastbound and rerouting westbound traffic onto Penn Street is another option.
The other option would be to make State Road 32 one-way going westbound and rerouting eastbound traffic onto Jersey Street.
“It’s a combination of what the citizens want to see, what the city wants to see, what INDOT wants to see, but importantly Federal Highway has to approve these alternatives,” Nail said.
Public input, traffic and environmental information is being gathered to make sure construction is done safely and efficiently.
The project is something Westfield resident Judy Stanley-Shuck is mindful of.
“I live right on State Road 32,” said Stanley-Shuck. “It’s off West Main Street, I live what looks like a bungalow. It was actually built in the 1800s.”
Many residents said congestion on the road is not only impacting drivers, but it’s slowing down commute times for school buses and emergency vehicles. They hope the project will help alleviate those problems.
“There were two emergency vehicles trying to get through,” Stanley-Shuck said. “They eventually got through because people had to pull over, but people are not paying attention and is just headed home just like anybody.”
Nail said the city hears from concerned citizens often about the issues getting to school.
“This project is going to do wonders to really mitigate those issues going forward,” he said.