Modern Rockville Road project met with backlash at public hearing Wednesday

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Posted at 12:20 PM, Mar 13, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — A plan to make what INDOT calls “long-needed improvements” to U.S. 36/Rockville Road was met with mixed reaction from residents at a public hearing on Wednesday.

The road-widening project will tackle traffic congestion, crash rates, poor drainage and lack of sidewalks on Indy’s west side.

“No family should be subjected to living next to a six lane highway," one resident said.

“This project is going to have a negative impact on their home values," said another.

Modern Rockville Road is three miles of U.S. 36 from Raceway Road in the west to I-465 in the east.

The project will require about .207 acres of permanent new right-of-way, in addition to .366 acres of temporary right-of-way needed during construction.

“The number one reason we’re doing this is safety. Throughout the years going back to January 2020, we’ve been sending out questionnaires, surveys asking people what are your concerns right now with the current conditions of the roadway and they said the number one reason was number of crashes, daily congestion we see in this area every day and pedestrian safety," INDOT spokesperson Megan DeLucenay said.

According to INDOT analysis from 2016-2019, traffic in the corridor is up between 9 to 25 percent.

The intersection of Rockville Road and Girls School Road is in the top one percent for crash rates in the state.

Some of the proposed solutions are to add extra lanes, modify medians, repair outdated drainage and add pathways for pedestrians.

“The proposed plan right now is going from four lanes to six, so it’ll be three on one side separated by a median and three on the other side," DeLucenay said.

An idea Nancy Hamble supports.

“We need some more lanes for the traffic and kinda spread it out a little bit," the 23-year-long resident said. “Traffic is horrific. Especially at rush hour, trying to go to work in the morning or come home and you gotta deal with the sun in your eyes and the traffic is bad.”

Hamble hopes the project will alleviate some of these concerns.

“If we get another lane and some ditches, I’ll be happy.”

Utility work is expected to begin Fall of 2024.

Construction is expected to begin early 2025, with a completion date in 2027.