Hendricks County officials have been discussing the need for a north/south connector since the 1980s and began looking for new alignment opportunities at that time.
The first section of Ronald Reagan Parkway was built in 1996 and today, the road spans from the Decatur Township area in Marion County up to Hendricks County Road 600 North.
Hendricks County Engineer John Ayres said the next phase is about to begin.
“In the original concept, it would end at C.R. 600 N. but in 2010, we started taking steps to look at advanced environmental planning and take Ronald Reagan all the way up to Boone County,” Ayres said. “In 2016, our commissioners and Boone County Commissioners began the design work and updated environmental studies, bringing the Hendricks County portion up to C.R. 1000 N. (the county line).”
Hendricks County is currently working with INDOT and applying for federal highway funds in hopes of taking bids on what they are calling Phase 1A, C.R. 600 N. to C.R. 750 N. this spring.
“The construction will be split into two phases and Phase 1A is about a two-year project,” Ayres said. “Once we complete Phase 1B (C.R. 750 N. to C.R. 1000 N.), we’ll meet at the Boone County line,” Ayres said.
Though the Boone County Commissioners decided to hold off on their portion of Ronald Reagan back in 2016, Ayres said the entire length of the parkway would have eventually crossed through Whitestown and Zionsville.
A recent meeting between Hendricks County officials and Whitestown administrators as renewed interest in completing the project to go through Boone County.
“It’s really important that Ronald Reagan Parkway connects into Interstate 65 eventually,” Ayres said. “The original studies show traffic isn’t necessarily relieved on Interstate 465 with the new connector, but it will lead to a reduction in traffic when you take into account the growth in this area.”
Hendricks County has paid for all right of way costs up to C.R. 1000 N. and each section built previously included state and federal matches in funds.
Whitestown Town Manager Jason Lawson said things are coming together on the Boone County side of Ronald Reagan, but it will be contingent upon the expected growth in the area and funding access.
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