Work has begun on a new capital improvement project at the Indiana State Fairgrounds that will create a new gateway for visitors walking into the recently renovated Fairgrounds Coliseum. The Pedestrian Plaza project will slow vehicular traffic immediately in front of the Coliseum; enhance the area’s appearance; and provide new space for special activities before and after Coliseum events.
The project is the result of a federally funded Transportation Enhancement grant awarded through the Indiana Department of Transportation. The grant provides 80 percent of the project’s nearly $2 million total cost with the remaining 20 percent paid by the Indiana State Fair Commission.
“This new plaza will help beautify the entrance area to the Coliseum, but more importantly it’s another way to improve safety for our visitors and employees,” Indiana State Fair Executive Director Cindy Hoye said. “We’re grateful for the support from the Indiana Department of Transportation and hope to keep working with them on future grants that will continue to enhance the fairgrounds.”
Work on the current project began Sept. 2. The majority of the construction should be completed by December with only the landscaping left to finish next spring. An emphasis has been put on “placemaking,” a process that combines the design and programming of public spaces that strengthens the connection people have with those spaces. Cripe did the design work and 3D Company is the prime contractor handling the construction.
Once complete, the Pedestrian Plaza will limit vehicular traffic in front of the Coliseum to only the north side of Main Street. The rest of the street will continue to have vehicular traffic on the north and south sides of the street’s landscaped islands.
The plaza will offer a number of attractive and functional features, including:
- Curbless walkways for better ADA accessibility
- Transitional paving for slowing vehicular traffic
- A drop-off zone
- Decorative urns and light fixtures
- Trees and other landscaped beds
In addition to the plaza, the pedestrian tunnel that connects the fairgrounds’ infield to Main Street will receive new specially designed roof coverings that will protect them from the weather and make the short walk from the infield to the Pedestrian Plaza more enjoyable. Mindful of the upcoming Indy Fuel hockey season in October and theIUPUI basketball season in November, fairgrounds personnel have posted additional directional signs for the most convenient parking options while construction continues.
To view a rendering of the new plaza or for more information on the project and other fairgrounds events, please visit http://www.in.gov/statefair/fairgrounds/visitors.html.