Zionsville Times Sentinel

February 12, 2014

County gets $4.7 million for Whitestown Bypass

By Rod Rose For the Times Sentinel
Zionsville Times Sentinel

---- — Nearly $4.7 million has been awarded to Boone County to help build a road that will connect CR 400 S with CR 300 S, opening what Whitestown Town Manager Dax Norton said Wednesday, Feb 5, is “the No. 1 priority infrastructure project for efficient flow of traffic, not just in the county but in central Indiana.”Informally designated the Whitestown Bypass, the new road will link the two east-west roads via two sweeping curves and a straight segment that crosses farm fields, an abandoned railroad right of way, and the Jackson Run Ditch. It will begin at the intersection of CR 400 S (Albert S. White Boulevard) and CR 650 E, at the southeast corner of the Walker Farms subdivision. The road joins 300 S at a point about midway between welcome signs for Whitestown and Zionsville, east of Whitestown’s traditional downtown center.“It will make travel safer for our residents and people who commute to our businesses,” Norton said of the bypass. “We’re very excited about the funding and looking forward to working with the county.”Initial construction will be of a two-lane road, but the street could be widened to four lanes when traffic volume justifies the expansion.

Boone County will pay for 20 percent of the construction and absorb the full cost of a bridge over Jackson Run. The Boone County Council in November approved a letter of commitment for the 20 percent.

The county will spend $1.1 million on construction in 2014 but receive $760,000 in reimbursement, Commissioner Jeff Wolfe told the council. In 2015 the county would spend $475,313 and be reimbursed $380,315.

Surveying of the route is scheduled to begin in July, with construction expected to start in February 2017.

The bypass is another link in a plan that will alleviate traffic congestion in the AllPoints at Anson area, Norton said.

Monday, Feb. 3, Norton told the Whitestown Redevelopment Commission that the realignment of Perry Worth Road with Crane Drive, creating a four-way intersection at Whitestown Parkway, could be “substantially” complete by Dec. 1. While the realignment hasn’t been approved by the Whitestown Town Council, Zionsville has agreed to pay for a traffic signal at the new intersection, Norton told the Whitestown RDC.

Money for the new intersection can be raised through a TIF district, Norton said. The RDC took no action on the issue Monday.

More details will emerge in the next two weeks, Norton said.

New businesses could come to the area after the intersection is built, he added.“There’s a major retail project that could possibly say yes to the area, but they are not going to say yes unless that road is realigned,” Norton told the RDC. A “pretty major project” on the south side of Whitestown Parkway, in Zionsville, is also possible with the realignment, he said.

Wednesday, Norton said the realignment and the bypass “should, hopefully, alleviate a majority of the headache from the congestion” that develops in November and December when the Amazon distribution center in Anson increases its staff from 2,000 workers to 5,000. “You’ll have multiple access points to go east, west, north and south,” Norton said.

In a news release, Indiana Department of Transportation officials said the $4,670,240 awarded to Boone County for the bypass was among $86 million in federal transportation funds for road, bridge and bicycle and pedestrian trails. Hendricks County received $1.075 million to replace a bridge over the west fork of Big Walnut Creek and $1.928 million to extend the National Road Heritage Trail. Crawfordsville received $880,000 for the Sugar Creek Trail, while Frankfort was awarded $2.565 million to rebuild Washington Avenue.