Ronald Reagan Parkway opens Tuesday

Published: .
Updated: .

Lynsay Clutter/Eyewitness News

Brownsburg - Drivers can start making their way along new pavement in Hendricks County. The Ronald Reagan Parkway is now open in Brownsburg with the exception of the north east ramp, which opened later in the day.

The opening of the parkway was delayed twice last week because of rain, but now the paint is dry and grading and shoulder work is complete. The opening was originally projected for just after rush hour, but it was pushed back to mid-afternoon. As of 5:00 pm Tuesday, the road was open.

This Ronald Reagan connection about 3 miles east of State Road 267 is a critical piece of a north south thoroughfare that will eventually connect interstates 70, and 74 and possibly further north to I-65. 

The new interchange is a quick way around Brownsburg, and in and out of Hendricks County. Supporters say the growing suburbs will benefit by alleviating traffic congestion and speeding up travel.

Shelley Haney from INDOT said, "It's going to be great for Hendricks county residents because it's going to give them an alternative route to SR 267. It helps create some jobs and bring in businesses. Businesses depend on good routes."

Federal, state, and tax dollars are paying for the parkway. The interchange took nearly $17.5 million and a little over a year to build.

The project also includes a new bridge over I-74, construction of the Ronald Reagan Parkway from Connector Roadway to C.R. 600 North (56th Street) and construction of a connector road from Ronald Reagan Parkway to U.S. 136. 

Authorities aren't sure how long it will take to complete the entire Ronald Reagan Parkway.  They talk in terms of a decade or longer. Planning began more than 20 years ago.

But while this piece of roadway opens, SR 136 between Brownsburg and Clermont will close for a culvert installation.

"A culvert is something that water passes under, and it's actually part of the I-74 interchange work. The detour route follows 136 to Ronald Reagan Parkway to I-74 and back to 136," said Haney.

That section of 136 will open back up around Labor Day.