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96th & Keystone project underway

Major changes are coming to 96th and Keystone as the long-awaited transformation of this busy intersection into a free-flowing, roundabout interchange kicks off. Construction crews will begin building the ramps that will serve the future interchange and motorists will notice new traffic restrictions.

Workers on heavy machinery will begin doing much of the work on the edges of Keystone Parkway, prompting the need to close lanes. Traffic will continue to flow through the construction zone, but there will only be two lanes of traffic in either direction, northbound and southbound. Motorists who usually travel on Keystone Parkway have the option of using U.S. 31 as a detour around this project.

Traffic on 96th Street will be moved to the south lanes, from Keystone to just east of Priority Way, with one lane open in each direction through the corridor.

Work on the interchange is part of the City of Carmel’s 96th Street Corridor Improvement Project which is transforming traffic flow and improving access to businesses along this busy corridor from White River to Keystone Parkway. Two roundabouts are already under construction along 96th Street.

Although 96th Street is shared by both the City of Carmel and the City of Indianapolis, state law requires that Cities on the north side of such common roadways handle all matters of construction, reconstruction, improvements and maintenance. An estimated average of 85,000 vehicles use 96th Street and Keystone Parkway each day with traffic studies indicating that number will increase over the next 5-10 years. Work on the interchange was delayed due to issues regarding property acquisition and utility work.

The cost of the corridor project is estimated to be approximately $43 million, with $8.5 million coming from federal exchange dollars administered through the Indiana Department of Transportation, $2 million from Hamilton County, $1.9 million in federal Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality improvement program funds and the rest from local County Option Income Tax bonds.

Traffic lights at key intersections along 96th Street are being replaced with more efficient and safe roundabouts. Those intersections include:

∎96th Street and Hazel Dell Parkway

∎96th Street and Gray Road

∎96th Street and Delegates Row

∎96th Street and Priority Way

∎96th Street and Keystone Parkway (see image)

The Keystone Parkway portion of the project will include construction of a major new interchange with grade separation – Keystone will be elevated over 96th Street – with roundabout-controlled ramps similar to U.S. 31 interchanges at 106th and 116th Streets. After preliminary work this year, the interchange will be largely completed in 2019, including a project that will improve the intersection of 96th Street and Haverstick Road, just west of Keystone.

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