Carmel construction could mean opportunity for businesses

Closures on US 31 in Carmel began Friday night.
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Let the construction on the new US 31 begin.

Northbound lanes of 31 closed sometime after 7 p.m. Friday, with southbound lanes remaining open even through 11 p.m.

Once all lanes are closed, it will stay that way for eight months and with the closures comes the detours, starting at Old Meridian to 136th Street.

"Old Meridian will become new Meridian," said Kristina Robinson with the Brockway Public House, a pub on Old Meridian in Carmel.

What's old will now become new, at least for the next eight months during construction.

"It's kind of nice that they're doing this during the summer months, because I think people are going to see us. They're going to stop. They're going to try something new," Robinson added.

For businesses like the The Brockway Public House, situated along a detour route, more traffic could equal more business.

"Once they start coming down Old Meridian, they're going to see kind of like a different side of Carmel, like the little shops, the little places that you don't normally stop at that maybe you've heard of, but I think its going to be great for us," Robinson continued.

The construction could be a different story for drivers like Jacob DeWilde though who lives in Carmel and travels south every day for work.

"It's going to be nice when its done, but its going to be kind of tough while they're working on it," said DeWilde.

That's DeWilde said he's already figured out his daily detour.

"I'm going to try the College (Avenue) route for now, see if that works. If it doesn't, then we'll try something else," he explained.

That's just what some businesses hope drivers will do during the eight-month detour, try something new.

"They're going to say, 'Look who I drove past when I was just taking a detour from Meridian to get home'," said Robinson.