FISHERS, Ind. - After a series accidents and delays, the Interstate 69 project that is expected to improve traffic flow is nearly complete.
Operation Indy Commute has impacted traffic on I-69 from 116th Street to 82nd Street for nearly two years. Final driving restrictions will be put in place this week before all the lanes reopen again.
The $29 million project is about four months behind the original schedule, but crews were preparing to finish up the final phase.
The Indiana Department of Transportation estimates more than 100,000 drivers travel the stretch of I-69 every day.
Managers at a nearby Puccini’s restaurant in Fishers said their delivery drivers and customers have avoided the interstate since the project started in 2012.
"It's just the traffic and the construction, it backs up so bad and plus with the accidents they've had on it, I just would rather stay away from it," customer Linda Marlow said.
The final step to ease congestion and increase capacity includes adding new southbound auxiliary lanes connecting between interchange ramps at 116th, 96th and 82nd streets.
Last month, the project experienced a setback when two construction workers were killed .
On Tuesday, light rain threatened the chance for crews to finish minor improvements during the overnight hours and to complete the entire project by the end of the week.
"I am hoping with all my heart that it will be over on Friday. If so we'll have a party here at Puccini’s," Marlow said.
Crews will complete minor work Wednesday night such as restriping from 82nd Street to Interstate 465. Drivers are advised to practice safe habits near work zones.
At least one confirmed tornado was spotted on Indianapolis' northeast side on Wednesday afternoon.
Thousands of people in Central Indiana are without power due to a series of severe thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon.
Damage reports are coming in from a confirmed tornado near Kokomo Wednesday afternoon, moving east.
Several tornado warnings are active right now in Central Indiana.