Local

With roundabout delayed, 141st Street crossing at State Road 37 to become right-in, right-out

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — State Road 37 at 141st Street on the Fishers-Noblesville border will be temporarily changed to a right-in, right-out intersection after a delay in converting it into a roundabout as part of a larger project, the 37Thrives group announced Wednesday night on Zoom.

The project has already converted the State Road 37 intersections of 126th, 131st and 146th streets into roundabouts, and the 135th Street intersection to a right-in, right-out intersection. Previously, all had stoplights. Currently, northbound motorists exiting I-69 onto State Road 37 in Fishers have no stoplights until 141st Street.

The stoplights remained Wednesday at 141st Street, but they will be removed as part of the temporary change, said Hatem Mekky, assistant director of engineering for Fishers city government, during the Zoom presentation. He also says detours will be posted for motorists who had wanted to turn left at the 141st Street intersection.

Mekky told News 8 on Thursday that the temporary change will happen in the next three weeks. “This is what we’re calling the preconstruction phase and also something to mitigate the rising traffic impacts that we’ve seen since we’ve opened 146 Street, 131st and 126th.”

In July, 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 had decided. Overall construction had been slated to end in 2023.

City officials say they are hopeful that next year the prices will be lower after cutting down on expenses.

“We did adjustments to our MOT (maintenance of traffic) scheme to allow for whatever is easier for the contractor not necessarily specify anything in there to not have them commit to one thing to have it open for them to choose whichever is easier and cheaper for them,” Mekky said.

Mekky says numerous motorists have reported near-crashes — some motorists have had to drive into the shoulder to avoid collisions — and complained about the backups during rush-hours. In response, traffic engineers tried to adjust timing on the stoplights at 141st and State Road 37 without success.

For the 141st Street conversion to a roundabout, work has already begun and will continue through the spring to relocate utilities. New bids for the roundabout could be sought in autumn.

37Thrives also is planning a December advertising campaign to increase awareness and to promote access to businesses at 141st Street.

(37Thrives via Zoom)