INDIANAPOLIS - The road construction season is underway and crews are working on multiple projects throughout the city to improve road conditions for drivers.
U.S. 31 PROJECT
Officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation will shut down part of U.S. 31 in Hamilton County starting Friday night.
The section between Old Meridian and 136th streets will be closed until Thanksgiving. During that time, crews will work on construction of a Carmel Drive overpass and two area roundabouts.
The closure will lead to detours and delays for area businesses, including IU Health North and several St. Vincent facilities.
"We're trying to obviously maintain access to businesses. A lot of the local roads -- Illinois, Pennsylvania will remain open for access to local businesses," INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield said.
Dan Lareau, executive director of operations for St. Vincent, has been in close talks with INDOT to make sure alternate viable routes are clear for ambulances.
"It's a pretty big concern for us to make sure we communicate with our patients that you can continue to access our facilities throughout the construction. It will be a little inconvenient and I think it will take some more time," Lareau said.
Click here for more information about detours and closures -- http://bit.ly/Pl3M5U
Crews are several months into work to improve the Interstate 65/Interstate 465 interchange. The Operation Indy Commute project was set up to alleviate backups in some of the city’s problem areas. The state is also working on plans for another south-side project that will likely keep their machines and barricades around for years.
New flyover ramps and a new Sherman Drive bridge are going in at I-65 and I-465. Work will extend into 2015 and officials with INDOT said when it is finished, it will ultimately relieve one of the worst bottlenecks in the city.
"It will allow traffic to move at higher speeds and with less merging, less slowing down," Wingfield said.
Commuters on the south side will still not be in the clear. Last week, Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill that will give INDOT access to hundreds of millions of dollars.
The money will be used to widen I-65 from Southport Road to Franklin.
"The idea is to continue to expand I-65 south of Indianapolis to help some of the commuting patterns, to help with some of the truck traffic that comes through that area, but basically to improve safety and improve congestion," Wingfield said.
INDOT officials said they are hoping to bid contracts for the I-65 widening work later in the year.