Drivers, businesses still struggling with Allisonville Rd. construction
Construction on the Allisonville Road bridge over I-465 is supposed to be finished early next week, but now that a broken water line needs to be replaced, INDOT is unsure if that deadline will be met.
The outlook for another road project one mile north at Allisonville and 96th Street is worse yet. The need to relocate old utility lines has pushed back completion of that project from November to April. (Fishers is widening the road and putting in a Michigan U-turn to improve traffic flow.)
The delay has left those who live and work nearby frustrated. That stretch of Allisonville is one of the area's busiest corridors and it's been slow-going since construction on the two separate projects began last spring.
"To get home from work you have to tack on an extra 30 to 40 minutes and evening and you have to plan for it," said Josh King, Indianapolis.
"The malls over here, everything you want to do on weekends is over here," said Rachel Carter, Indianapolis.
Those who make deliveries have also had to make some changes.
"You try to avoid it by doing some of the accounts in the morning, know what I mean? Like 5:00 in the morning," said Josh Blackford.
But the delays are creating more than headaches for businesses caught in the middle of the construction zone.
"It's sad. It's like we had the light at the end of the tunnel and now we don't," said Suzy Neuberger,who manages Royal Laundry.
Neuberger said business has dropped 40 percent since construction began.
"It's scary and you're afraid of your livelihood. You have ten families you're taking care of through the laundromat and if the bottom falls out, you're losing ten incomes."
Several other businesses including Einstein's, Subway and Fast Tans have also taken a hit. Rachel Carter, who goes to Fast Tans twice a week, said, the construction is "a big hassle" and she never knows where to turn to get in the parking lot.
"I don't know where it's posted that this entrance is closed at these times during the day. That's what I'm most frustrated about," she said.
But at least one business feels things are ready to take a turn for the better. Regina Mattson, who manages Classic Cleaners, said, "I'm very excited because we know we have the 96th Street entrance open again," which is adjacent to the cleaners.
She said that makes it a lot easier to get to the cleaners. Mattson said the drop in business "was worse than expected. We expected [a drop of] 20-25 percent but when it goes to 30 to 50 percent some weeks we were really shocked."
Mattson said she spent much of Monday emailing customers to let them know the entrance, closed since last spring, was now opened.
"As long as they leave it open I think we'll bounce back really fast," she said.
As for the Allisonville bridge, INDOT spokesman Nathan Riggs said INDOT hoped to have information Wednesday on whether or not the additional work will delay the bridge's opening and if so, for how long.