An ambitious long-term road project on the drawing board for years will be presented for public comment at a hearing on Thursday.

The city proposes extending 67th Street from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard east to Columbus Avenue in phases that would cost more than $20 million and take years to complete.

“It opens up hundreds of acres on both sides of the road for development,” Anderson Board of Public Works Chairman Greg Graham said Tuesday.

The 67th Street project is designed as a three-lane frontage road parallel to Interstate 69 that would be capable of handling semitrailers while also serving as a major east-west thoroughfare across the south end of the city. Current plans include two traffic roundabouts — one at 67th and Ridgeview Road and a second at 67th and Madison Avenue.

“Roundabouts have been shown to basically move traffic better than traffic signals,” City Engineer Mike Spyers said. “Traffic slows down and goes through intersections instead of stopping.”

According to the proposal, the first phase of the project would rebuild and extend 67th Street about one mile east to Ridgeview. The second phase, from Ridgeview to Madison, would be built beginning in 2013. The final phase, from Madison to near Columbus Avenue, would be built in 2016.

Development Director Michael Widing said the project would make the city more attractive for businesses. “Everybody wants to be along the interstate. They want that interstate visibility.”

The plan also would improve access to the Flagship Business Park. Earlier versions of the proposal called for Enterprise Drive to be extended and connect with 67th Street, but Graham said the land conditions there would not support construction of a road carrying heavy traffic.

Plans also have been modified since the announcement that Ivy Tech Community College would build a new campus on 60th Street west of Columbus Avenue. The road previously was designed to cut through the land where Ivy Tech plans to build.

Graham said the proposed project includes millions in federal funds and also would use money from the city’s Tax Increment Finance district if approved.

Contact Dave Stafford: 648-4250, dave.stafford@heraldbulletin.com

 

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