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City Of Bedford & Mayor Shawna Girgis Break Ground On Plaza Drive South
Updated May 22, 2015 7:42 AM | Filed under: Politics
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(BEDFORD) - On Wednesday, Mayor Shawna Girgis and City of Bedford officials held the official groundbreaking for the Plaza Drive South project just east of the Cambridge Square Apartments.

The event marks the culmination of nearly 20 years of efforts that first began under the leadership of Mayor John Williams when the first piece of property was acquired for the project.

Mayor Joe Klumpp first applied for and was awarded funds through the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) for the project.

Mayor Shawna Girgis began working on the Plaza Drive project in 2008 and applied for and was awarded additional funds through INDOT in order to see the project through to completion.

Plaza Drive was designed as a two-phase project.

The first phase, Plaza Drive North, was completed in 2011 using local TIF funds appropriated by the City of Bedford Redevelopment Commission and extends from four-lane John Williams Boulevard south to 16th Street/U.S. 50. In 2012, Plaza Drive North was renamed "Becky Skillman Way" in honor of Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman.

Becky Skillman Way is a main transportation artery that has improved traffic flow and safety, as well as connects major commercial and retail development. Efforts by the City of Bedford in conjunction with improvements made by Regency Properties to the Big Lots shopping center have resulted in enhancements to the entire area.

The Plaza Drive South project will extend from 16th Street/U.S. 50 south to four-lane State Highway 37.

This project will provide improved transportation infrastructure and economic development opportunities to the area by creating new access to nearly 98 undeveloped acres of industrial and commercial property that includes 40 acres of Indiana State certified shovel-ready property.

The Plaza Drive South Project will bring new north and south access to Highway 37 and creates a place for future growth and development within the City of Bedford. Goals and objectives for the Plaza Drive South project include:

  • Reduction of traffic congestion;
  • Improved public safety;
  • Improved access to the area;
  • Economic development and employment opportunities
  • Improved quality of life for residents.

The Plaza Drive South project has been awarded $4.8 million in grant funding from INDOT and will serve as a gateway to the community connecting the East Gate Business and Technology Center, IU Health - Bedford Hospital, and the Ryan-Louden-Galloway Property.

Undeveloped and inaccessible land adjacent to the Plaza Drive South will benefit from the project by being provided direct access to State Road 37 creating an excellent location for future business and industrial development.

Mark Young, with GAI, is the engineer responsible for the Plaza Drive development. GAI has been the company leading project development since 2004. Crider and Crider was awarded the construction contract through a competitive bid process implemented by INDOT. Crider and Crider also constructed Becky Skillman Way. The project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2016.

The Plaza Drive South project is one more example of how the Bedford City Council, Redevelopment Commission, State of Indiana, many community partners, and I are working together to build an even better Bedford.

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