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Plainfield unveils planned route to future I-70 exit

PLAINFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — Town leaders on Thursday night unveiled their selection for a route to a future interchange along I-70.

Officials said the route and the interchange, which are years away, won’t solve congestion problems downtown but will help the town continue to grow.

No funding is available for the road work, and no plans are in place to build another connector between I-70 and U.S. 40 west of the town.

But, the impact of a new interchange and route to it would be felt immediately as new businesses or new housing additions decide to come to the area. The recommended route would use what’s now County Road 600 East, also known as Moon Road. It’s right where Mike Galyan lives.

“I’m all for progress but I don’t think Plainfield needs another exit,” Galyan said. “We’ve invested heavily in landscaping our property. It’s going to take 17 trees.”

Galyan was one of more than 160 people who came out Thursday night to see the plans in person. The plans also are available online.

“I don’t want it to happen and I don’t want to move,” Galyan said.

A few other homeowners also expressed concerns about their property values, too.

Andrea Oaldon, who also lives in Plainfield, said something has got to be done about the traffic and the growth. The Hendricks County town west of Indianapolis has grown from nearly 27,800 residents in 2010 to more than 35,200 people in 2019, based on census estimates. “It’s expanding. I’ve been here 23 years. We built our house. It’s really blossoming,” Oaldon said.

Growth is also creating some headaches along the U.S. 267 corridor as well as Hadley Road. Town officials initially thought a new interchange would fix many of the problems, but a traffic study a couple of years ago estimated a new interchange would do little to ease heavy congestion.

“It’s hard to get around, so we definitely need more connections to the interstate to alleviate traffic a little bit,” Oaldon said.

The drawing on paper may be about the only progress seen for quite some time. The best guess for any route and interchange is from eight to 10 years at the earliest. But as the town grows, officials believe it’s good to have plans.

For Galyan, knowing that road work would not likely come until 2029 or 2031 — or even later — was the one positive facet of Thursday’s meeting. He still hopes the interchange never comes; “Oh, yeah.”

The planning study took about two years — it suffered some delays due to the coronavirus pandemic — and cost $137,000.

The town is taking feedback online about the recommended route through April 23.

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