Cracking concrete forces contractor to replace newly paved segments of U.S. 31 in Carmel

Walsh Construction will fix road at no cost

CARMEL, Ind. - A portion of one of the state's biggest highway projects has gone bad, and it's causing inconvenience for north side drivers.

Crews are already replacing concrete in more than a dozen sections of the upgraded U.S. 31 in Carmel, which was only opened to the public last fall.

Crews are digging up what INDOT said are 15 to 20 sections of the roadway between Greyhound Pass and the Monon Trail overpass.

INDOT spokesman Nathan Riggs said the state's on-site quality control inspectors noticed cracking in the new pavement and ordered Walsh Construction to redo the problem sections.

"There are numerous causation factors, potential factors, to cause this," Riggs said. "It could have been materials. It could have been the temperature at which the concrete was curing. Who really knows? But that's not really important. What's important is that we're making sure that it's a quality product in the end."

INDOT will reduce southbound traffic to one lane all weekend to allow for the repairs.

Next week, it will open up a second lane just for morning rush hour. Then it will switch the repairs to the northbound lanes.

The inconvenience is annoying many drivers.

"I think something's wrong. I think they should do the job right, or... maybe it's bad planning," one driver told RTV6.

"Waste of taxpayers' money," said another. "My wife takes this road every day to work. And she's actually had to take a couple different routes certain times during the year where it just gets backed up ridiculously."

INDOT said the taxpayers will not take a financial hit, because the contractor will be forced to eat the cost of the repaving.

But there is no way for the many motorists who use this highway to avoid the inconvenience.

INDOT hopes to have the repaving done on both the north and southbound sides and everything fully reopened to the public within a couple of weeks. 

This segment of U.S. 31 cost $36 million to build.


Follow Norman Cox on Twitter: @normancox6

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