Indianapolis tries to halt Carmel’s 96th Street roundabout

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Four planned roundabouts on 96th Street may have hit a roadblock with the city of Indianapolis asking a court to stop the city of Carmel from moving forward with the project.

The roundabouts are at the intersections of 96th Street and Hazel Dell Parkway, Gray Road, Delegates Row, and Randall Drive.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this month in Marion Superior Court, Indianapolis claims its northern neighbor is encroaching on the city’s corporate boundary. The seven-page complaint, City of Indianapolis v. City of Carmel, 49D06-1706-PL-022158, is seeking a preliminary injunction preventing Carmel from continuing with the construction.

Carmel director of community relations and economic development Nancy Heck declined to comment. “It is not the city’s policy to comment on pending litigation,” she said.

Donald Morgan, chief litigation counsel for the city of Indianapolis, declined to talk about the case as well. “It’s our standard practice, out of respect for the litigation process, to not comment on pending litigation,” he said in a voicemail message.  

Indianapolis argues in its complaint that Carmel’s partial plans and schematic drawings show the project will spill across the county line. Under state statute, the Indianapolis asserts, Carmel must enter into an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement with Indianapolis before it can acquire right-of-way or other real property interests.  

Noting Carmel has indicated acquisition of right-of-way for the project has already begun within Indianapolis, Indianapolis claims Carmel’s violation of the city’s exclusive territorial jurisdiction is irreparably harming Indianapolis. According to the complaint, Carmel intends to begin bidding the project Wednesday with the goal of starting the project as early as this summer.

The city of Indianapolis is asking the court to bar Carmel from acquiring any property and starting construction without securing an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement.

Carmel has not responded to the complaint but it did file a motion for a change of judge. Marion Superior Judge Thomas Carroll granted the motion June 7 and subsequently approved the request by Indianapolis and Carmel to appoint Boone Superior Judge Matthew Kincaid as the special judge in this matter.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the four roundabouts involved. 

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