A Greenwood roundabout and equipment to allow first responders to change traffic lights in Bargersville will be paid for with federal funding in the next several years.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is responsible for distributing federal funding for transportation projects in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, selected two Johnson County projects to receive part of the $59 million the organization is giving out to projects in the state fiscal year 2022, a new release said.
Greenwood will receive $740,000 for a roundabout at Main Street and Meadowview Lane. Bargersville will receive $140,000 for traffic signal equipment, the news release said.
An intersection in Greenwood on Main Street that often sees backed up traffic will get some relief in a few years with a roundabout.
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Installing a roundabout at the intersection of Main Street and Meadowview Lane, which is between State Road 135 and U.S. 31, couldn’t be done without federal funding, Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers said.
The project will make the intersection, which needed to be upgraded, safer, Myers said.
The intersection, which doesn’t have any traffic signals, often has backups during rush hour as drivers have to wait in the road to make left turns into large neighborhoods north and south of Main Street.
Greenwood will pay about $75,000 for the matching grant, and will need to cover the cost of designing the roundabout and paying for right-of-way and easements, Myers said.
Work, which would begin in 2022, will take about 60 days, similar to the roundabout at Smith Valley and Yorktown roads under construction this summer, he said.
A roundabout was appropriate for the amount of traffic that goes through the intersection, Myers said.
This was the only project Greenwood requested funding for in this round of applications, he said.
When fire trucks and ambulances are approaching several major intersections in Bargersville, first responders will now be able to adjust the traffic lights so they can respond to calls faster and with less risk of accidents, Bargersville Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Killinger said.
Signal pre-emption equipment will be installed at the intersection of State Road 37 and County Road 144 and along State Road 135 at it intersections with Whiteland Road, County Road 144 and State Road 44, he said.
“This will make it a little safer for us and for the general public,” Killinger said.
While Killinger couldn’t recall any situations where an emergency vehicle had an accident at an intersection, the department has had many close calls, he said.
One benefit is that Bargesrville, Greenwood and White River Township all are installing the same system. That means their emergency vehicles can adjust the traffic lights when traveling across the county when responding to assist other agencies, Killinger said.
Next year, 37 intersections in Greenwood will be upgraded to smart signals in an effort to shorten response times and make the routes to emergencies safer for emergency workers and motorists.
The GPS system that firefighters rely on for directions will notify stoplights on the route, changing the traffic signal and clearing the intersection before the emergency vehicle even approaches. The same system was installed by the White River Township Fire Department at 18 intersections in the Center Grove area in 2014.
Bargersville will receive a grant for $144,000 for the work. The fire department will need to cover 10 percent of the grant and pay for engineering costs, which will come to about $35,000, Killinger said.
Money for the fire department’s portion of the project will come from the funds it sets aside annually for equipment, he said.
The Bargersville Police Department isn’t part of this grant. But if it wanted to connect to the system, it would only need to purchase the devices to install in its vehicles, he said.
While the money is not set to come until July 2021, Bargersville may receive the funds earlier if another project funded by the planning organization is under budget. That means these improvements to the signals could come as soon as 2018, Killinger said.
Two Johnson County transportation projects will receive federal funding from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization. Here’s a look at what is planned:
Project: Roundabout at Main Street and Meadowview Lane
Federal funding: $740,000
City cost: $75,000 along with design, easement and right-of away costs.
Project: Traffic signal pre-emption
Federal funding: $144,000
City cost: $35,000
Date: 2022, but funds could come as early as 2018.