What has been a comprehensive process of gathering public input and conducting traffic and transportation studies for the Main Street area is now a reality.
Construction is complete on the Main Street roundabout connecting 16th Street and Crawfordsville Road with Main Street.
Assessments have concluded that more than 63 percent of total accidents in Speedway occurred at this intersection — and in the coming years, the area was projected to experience even more congestion. The new roundabout will ease traffic flow and encourage business growth in surrounding areas. In addition, the roundabout will help improve air quality and enhance safety and security in the area.
“Many studies show significant safety benefits of modern roundabouts over traditional intersections,” said Brandye Hendrickson, Indiana Department of Transportation district deputy commissioner. “The circular design lowers speeds, reduces potential collision points and nearly eliminates the most severe types of crashes.”
The Main Street roundabout project was a next step in the multimillion-dollar redevelopment of Speedway’s Main Street and Speed Zone area.
Said Vince Noblet, Speedway Redevelopment Commission president, “Main Street is poised to be a thriving, downtown district. Directly connecting 16th Street and Crawfordsville Road to Main Street will allow progress to continue and ultimately result in positive growth and investment in the Town of Speedway.”
Town Council President Gary Raikes is excited to see the longtime redevelopment plan take shape.
“We are committed to making Speedway an outstanding place to live, work, shop, learn and play,” said Raikes. “Continuing the revitalization of Main Street is not only good for our residents but also for our businesses and year-round visitors.”
The improvement of traffic and addition of sidewalks along the perimeter will now allow customers to travel safely to local businesses in the area, which in return offers business owners new opportunities for growth.
“The street is architecturally beautiful and feels so welcoming,” said Mindi Epstein, owner of Main Street Yoga. “I chose to open my business here on Main Street because I saw enormous potential with the Redevelopment Commission’s plans.”
After recent renovations to Main Street, civic leaders noted a significant increase in community involvement.
“Main Street is home to more than a dozen festivals, parades and events each year, including Monsters on Main, Speedway Spectacular, Indy Jazz Fest, Hauler Parade and Hops & Flip Flops,” said Connie Harris, Speedway Chamber of Commerce executive director. “With better road functionality, we are able to provide even more events like these, making Speedway a more dynamic town.”
As part of the project, Georgetown Road is not connected to the roundabout. The IMS safety committee, which consists of local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies, has determined that because of the close proximity of the grandstands to Georgetown Road, connecting to the roundabout would have posed a potential threat to the safety of IMS visitors and the facility.
“We must make bold decisions that will positively impact the track and the town not only now, but 50 years from now,” said Doug Boles, president of the IMS. “The changes to the Main Street intersection will allow for the IMS to increase safety for the millions of visitors to the track and the Town of Speedway.”
The roundabout is open for traffic on Monday, November 17 at 5 a.m.