By Jessica Todd
Drivers already dodging traffic through Avon can expect to see orange barrels and cones popping up along already congested routes as the town undergoes the largest infrastructure project in its history.
Town planners have created big plans to address traffic congestion drivers encounter on several roadways. Residents can expect to see multiple construction projects in the next couple of years, said Ryan Cannon, Avon town manager.
A mile south of U.S. 36, the current large town project that began last month focuses on County Road 100 South. The road reconstruction and widening will strengthen the pavement and make it safer for traffic and the growing population, Cannon said. It will also feature three new roundabouts to help ensure safety and traffic flow.
“The pavement is in bad shape,” said Cannon. “The road is old and cannot handle the traffic it endures. Residents often use this road to avoid U.S. 36, which causes a lot of congestion.”
The total project cost is $18.5 million, with $13 million for construction, Cannon said.
Bids were approved in June 2020, and drivers have experienced utility relocations that have been taking place since then.
The County Road 100 South plans also focus on economic development on about 500 acres of vacant land that will soon feature Avon Logistics Park.
“There are going to be about 5 to 6 million square feet of industrial buildings on the north side of 100 South,” said Cannon. “There will be more truck traffic due to this enhancement, which is why the roundabouts and new pavement are a good idea.”
Residents in three Avon neighborhoods have access to 100 South. Sunchase, Lexington Woods and Hollowbrooke will have restricted access as construction continues into the later months of 2021.
To fund the project, Avon partnered with the Town of Plainfield and Hendricks County to support the funds for this project.
“The Town of Plainfield contributed to the project along County Road 100 S because we realize that, as a border roadway between Plainfield and Avon, both communities stand to benefit from the improvements,” said Scott Singleton, Plainfield director of transportation. “Avon’s staff reached out to us early in their planning processes to get feedback. By agreeing to assist in the funding and collaborating together, we feel the end project reflects the regional value County Road 100 S provides to the area.”
“Our partnership with Plainfield and Hendricks County is what makes this project possible. We hope the project will provide diversity in our tax bases in the years to come,” said Cannon.
The state will also start another major project that is set to begin in the next few weeks along U.S. 36 to widen the busy roadway from four lanes to six. The INDOT project will run from Shiloh Crossing Shopping Center west of Ronald Reagan Parkway to the county line near LA Fitness at Raceway Road.
“The INDOT project will work to reduce congestion and facilitate traffic,” said Cannon. “It is always busy during rush hour and the weekend, so the goal is to widen the road to allow for smooth traffic control.”
INDOT will also add a median for safety when they take out the shoulders to add two more lanes. This project will begin this month and be ongoing until the end of the year.
Even with lane shifts, four lanes of U.S. 36 will remain open during busy travel times, Cannon said. Restrictions to less than four lanes will happening during evenings and restored by 6 a.m. the following day.
In the next several years, Avon residents can expect to see several other road construction projects.
“Once the 100 South projects are complete, we will focus on turning Dan Jones (Road) into a four-lane road. Construction will begin at the end of 2022 and finish during 2023,” said Cannon.
After that, construction should start at the end of 2023 to relieve school traffic jams.
“We will also be working on widening County Road 150 South to four lanes and adding a dual-lane roundabout. This enhancement should help traffic tremendously, especially for the high school,” Cannon said.
Traffic and safety are the biggest concerns as the town begins construction on multiple roads, Cannon said. Their priority is creating a safe driving environment that will be beneficial to drivers and pedestrians.
“For the past few years, the town has focused on improving congestion at intersections,” said Cannon. “Moving forward, we hope the focus on adding more lanes to assist with traffic will make driving through Avon more pleasant.”