Culvert work set for U.S. 31

Motorists, prepare for shifted lanes, slower speeds and construction on U.S. 31 this summer.

A new culvert, which will allow water to drain faster, will be installed on U.S. 31 north of the Pushville Road intersection in Greenwood. The $1,277,656 project is slated to start in mid-May and finish in September, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation.

During construction, all four lanes of U.S. 31 will stay open, but each lane will be about 1 foot narrower and traffic will be shifted onto the shoulder area of the pavement. The speed limit, currently at 45 mph, will be reduced to 35 mph.

About 32,850 cars travel daily on that portion of U.S. 31, said Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Harry Maginity.

The culvert, which drains water from Grassy Creek, has deteriorated after decades of use and it needs to be replaced, Maginity said.

The construction zone begins just south of the stoplight at Declaration Drive, which leads to Kroger and other businesses in the Summer Field Crossing shopping center off U.S. 31.

Endress + Hauser, a company that has about 400 employees coming to its campus between Pushville and Worthsville roads, already has had to deal with the temporary closure of Worthsville Road. East Worthsville Road has been closed since late last year and will remain under construction through the rest of 2015.

“The road construction surrounding the Endress + Hauser campus has been somewhat of an obstacle for our employees and visitors,” said Todd Hubbell, vice president of operations. “We are confident that the outcome of this work will make any inconveniences well worth it — as we are aware that construction changes of this sort are necessary to improve our roadways and to make our employees’ commutes more safe.”

Dave Baird, who manages Greenwood Boat and RV Storage on the corner of Pushville Road and U.S. 31, is concerned about the slower traffic speeds and shifted lanes. Customers leaving the business on Pushville Road and attempting to turn north on U.S. 31 already have a difficult time getting through traffic, Baird said.

In the upcoming months, utility companies will be working on U.S. 31 to move their lines and poles.