INDOT: U.S. 31 Work In Hamilton County To Take 7 Years

State Lays Out Timetable, Plans For Project

New details of a $600 million project to upgrade U.S. 31 in Hamilton County were unveiled on Tuesday.

The Indiana Department of Transportation held an open house at Carmel High School to share the timetable and plans for the 13-mile venture, 6News' Norman Cox reported.

The construction will begin next year in two different locations -- at the north end near State Road 38 and on the south between 151st Street and Keystone Avenue.

The remainder of the highway will be filled in over the next seven years, with commercial areas near the border of Carmel and Westfield getting expedited attention.

State officials said they hope to have the project finished by 2018, a date Carmel and Westfield officials said they would like to see moved up.

But INDOT officials said they're happy the road is getting built at all, thanks to Major Moves money from the Toll Road lease.

"I have to remind people, when you look at it historically, this project was essentially canceled back in 2003 due to lack of funding," said spokesman Will Wingfield. "So we're glad that this project's back on the radar and getting ready to begin construction in a year."

Area residents at the open house said they had mixed opinions about the seven-year timetable.

"It bothers me because I'll commute across it every day, but, you know, you have to go through some lumps to get to the end," one man said.

"I'll be surprised if they get it done that fast because it's a huge project and it always seems like whatever they say it's going to take, it takes twice as long," said another person. "Let's hope they wait until we get the mess cleaned up on Keystone Avenue first."

One woman said state officials have already told her that the plans call for tearing down her house. But she said she's not bitter.

"They've already told us it's going to go right through our house," she said. "Everything changes. Everything has to change at some point."

More Information: INDOT: The New U.S. 31