New Speedway roundabout to create 'gateway' to racing world

16th Street Roundabout Rendering
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The Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway may be just a few days away, but the town of Speedway is already looking to next year's Indy 500 and a whole new gateway it's creating between the town and the track.

The town of Speedway has made major strides in recent years beefing up Main Street, adding new businesses and making it look more welcoming. But, when race fans come for next year's Indy 500, they're going to notice bit changes and it all starts next week.

It's all a part of the town's redevelopment plan that's been years in the making. Starting next week — a groundbreaking celebrating and preparing for the crown jewel — a roundabout at the intersection of 16th Street and Crawfordsville Road.

"This intersection is a gateway,"said Scott Harris, executive director of the Speedway Redevelopment Commission. "It's across from the IMS administration building. With a lot of activity on Main Street, some of it racing-related-Dallara, IndyCar Experience, SFH Racing, this will create a very prominent gateway to the greatest racing venue in the world."

Harris said the current intersection of 16th Street, Georgetown Road and Crawfordsville road has multiple roads coming in at different angles.

"It's somewhat dysfunctional," he said. "The roundabout will solve those issues."

The biggest change is going to come to Georgetown Rd. It's going to be capped off and will no longer run into the intersection, creating a big road block to a major thoroughfare.

Teddy Szatkowski, who has owned the beauty salon on Main Street for more than 50 years, said she thinks the changes will make it harder for people to do business in Speedway.

"I have customers on Kessler Boulevard and they're all complaining already (about) how are you going to get in here — how are you going to get into Main St," Szatkowski said.

Bruce Johnson has lived in Speedway for about 35 years. While he's concerned about the influx of cars that will cut through from Georgetown, he can see the good in the other changes.

"I advocate for the roundabout — no lights," Johnson said. "Carmel has got 'em, everybody's got 'em and we need to get up-to-date."

In order to make the new roundabout  happen, there will be some road closures and traffic re-configurations for several months. A lot of the utility work and re-laying of gas, water and electric lines underground was completed over the spring. Speedway will announce the traffic changes on Monday.

The good news is all of this is expected to be finished by November 30.