Most area highway projects finished for year, 2 fail to meet deadlines

Fishers I-69 work will extend into winter weather

INDIANAPOLIS - Friday marked the unofficial end of construction season, and INDOT said most of its major projects are either complete or only need a little touch-up work. 

But that's not so for the biggest project, the one that disrupts the most people -- Interstate 69 in Fishers.

INDOT had five big central Indiana road projects this year. 

Four are done, including Accelerate 465 on the west side, widening Interstate 70 on the east side, the new Allisonville Road bridge over I-465, and U.S. 31 in Hamilton County (although crews will be back next year on a new stretch of that project).

But the contractor did not finish the key part of the I-69 project, the new two-lane flyover ramp from northbound I-69 to State Road 37.

"We don't expect that they'll be able to get all the work complete by the end of the year," said INDOT spokesman Nathan Riggs. "The contractor plans to keep working as long as weather cooperates, but here in Indiana you just never know when it's going to cooperate. So we're taking some preventative measures to get traffic in an acceptable configuration for wintertime."

That includes removing some temporary barriers, giving drivers more space in slippery conditions.

INDOT said it shouldn't take long to finish the I-69 work once the weather warms up in the spring.

Of course, that's only the northbound side. 

Then they'll have to turn around to start the southbound project.

Meanwhile the city is behind on one of its key projects, the new Meridian Street bridge over the White River, which was supposed to be done this year.

"During our time working on that bridge we came across some fiber optics in the existing deck," said DPW spokesperson Kara Brooks. "We needed to redesign and go back to the drawing board for our construction plans. So there was a delay with that."

The new target date for completion of that bridge is May 2013. 

But the city did finish another bridge bottleneck on Meridian, the one over Fall Creek.

Two other smaller projects are nearing completion: INDOT's repaving of U.S. 40 west of I-465 and Fishers' rebuilding of the Allisonville Road-96th Street intersection.

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