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By Tim Monger on May 26, 2017

As a $200 million-plus redevelopment project takes shape in Carmel’s Midtown area, the city is set to spend more than $36 million on nearby transportation infrastructure.

Carmel plans to expand a portion of the popular Monon Greenway multiuse path into a multipurpose boulevard between City Center and the Arts & Design District, adding lanes for vehicular traffic as well as parking and green space.

The city’s nearest north-south thoroughfare, meanwhile, is going on a “road diet.” Officials plan to downsize Range Line Road from 116th Street to 4th Street, eliminating travel lanes in favor of a landscaped median and recreational paths on both sides of the street.

Both projects are intended to ease congestion—human and vehicular—in Midtown, which is undergoing a transformation of its own. Private developers are partnering with the city to create a vibrant corridor featuring offices, restaurants, retail and residential units in the onetime industrial area.

An average of 300,000 people already run, walk or bike on the Monon Greenway in Carmel each year, the city estimates. Plans for a $23 million overhaul include dedicated bike lanes, a bocce ball court and a new plaza at 4th Street SW, near the Allied Solutions corporate headquarters now under construction. Allied announced a major expansion and relocation of its headquarters operation in 2016. When it’s complete, the five-story building also will house real estate firm F.C. Tucker Co.’s Carmel operations.

Old Town Development is spearheading Midtown redevelopment east of the Monon, working with Ambrose Property Group on office and retail space and with J.C. Hart Co. on residential projects. Barrett & Stokely is the lead developer west of the trail.

In April, MJ Insurance said it would move its headquarters to a new building in Midtown along the future Monon Boulevard next year.

“We searched long and hard for the ideal location for our new headquarters and were greatly impressed by what’s happening in Carmel,” MJ Insurance CEO Michael H. Bill said in a written statement. “The location … sets the perfect foundation for MJ’s growth over the next decade. We can’t wait to make the move.”

City officials hope the changes to Range Line Road, meanwhile, will improve traffic flow and increase safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists alike. That $13.5 million project will replace traffic signals with roundabout intersections and install raised and mid-block pedestrian crosswalks.

“What is currently a ‘pass through’ corridor will soon be transformed into a tree-lined, sculpture-infused, pedestrian destination,” Mayor Jim Brainard said in a news release.

Check out a digitally enhanced video showing the impact of the changes: https://youtu.be/fmvDiEtf3tQ

Categories: "City of Carmel", Headquarters, Walkability