FISHERS -- Plans to revamp State Road 37 in Hamilton County into free-flowing parkway are beginning to take shape, but the project has some business owners wondering how they will be affected.
The Indiana Department of Transportation, the City of Fishers and Noblesville and Hamilton County are all supporting the $124 million project to replace intersections with roundabouts from 126th Street to 146th Street.
Bill Smythe, owner of Claude and Annie’s, a bar in Fishers, is concerned that what happened to some establishments after a similar project transformed Keystone Parkway in Carmel will happen to him.
"Small business people like me were operating and running their business like normal and the city came in and did something that was detrimental to their business and they went out of business, that’s my opinion," Smythe said.
When the state announced the plans last month, Gov. Mike Pence said the improvements were necessary so nearby communities could continue to grow and remain competitive. Symthe questions why other options haven’t been explored.
"We certainly aren’t opposed to progress, the point is, how are we going to do it and how is the most efficient and effective way to do it," Smythe said.
Symthe has organized the 37 Business Alliance and is inviting his neighbors to the first meeting Jan. 18.
Fishers is overseeing the initial design part of the project and contributing $12 million. Construction could start in 2018.