New US 31 detour begins for commuters as work starts on roundabout

Intersection to close for 2 months

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. - Driving through parts of Hamilton County will mean a new detour for some commuters starting Monday.

The newest detour on U.S. 31 is part of the major project that will eventually lead to completely closing down parts of U.S. 31 in two years.

The newest detour will allow crews to build a new roundabout on 136th Street.

"I'm going to have to take whatever detour they set up for me, which I still don't know what it's like yet," neighbor Sean Qiu said.

Officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation will spend $141 million to turn four intersections into roundabouts from 136th Street to 106th Street.

Two of five segments of the U.S. 31 project are complete in Hamilton County, but the newest work is the biggest yet, and it is all in anticipation of what will happen in 2015.

The new roundabout that will be built over the next two months will initially help move detoured traffic when the four-lane highway is shut down in 2015 for a major remodel.

"This will be the first roundabout in that area. In the future, it will help traffic flow, especially during the planned closure of U.S. 31 in 2015," Nathan Riggs with INDOT said.

Business owners at a nearby strip mall are concerned about customer access during construction, but remain hopeful.

"The walk-in business we were concerned about. We were concerned if our clients would be able to find a way in, but I think we've got it taken care of. We've kept them informed and I think we're fine,"  said Marcia Gillum with Colors Hair Gallery.

INDOT officials said The New U.S 31 Hamilton County project is expected to reduce traffic backups and improve safety.

Officials hope the project will bring U.S. 31 up to freeway standards.

INDOT said single lane restrictions in both directions of U.S. 31 between Interstate 465 and Old Meridian Street will start Tuesday night. Those restrictions will be in place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and will last about a month.

Click here for more information on the project.

Follow Chris Proffitt on Twitter: @chrisproffitt

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