Work begins this week to correct a curve west of Franklin, where dozens of accidents have happened in the last decade.
Starting Wednesday, Centerline Road will close at State Road 44. Work is beginning on a $1.7 million project to straighten out curves along the state highway, according to a news release from the Indiana Department of Transportation.
That section of the highway has been the site of multiple crashes, some fatal, in past years, and local officials have long identified it as dangerous.
Since 2005, 77 accidents have occurred at the intersection of State Road 44 and South Centerline Road, resulting in 20 injuries and nearly 60 cases of cars or other property being damaged, according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. The speed limit on that portion of State Road 44 is 45 mph, but signs suggest traveling through the curve at 20 to 35 mph due to the sharp turns.
Workers will rebuild about one-quarter mile of road, relocating the highway further west to correct the curve at Centerline Road, the release said.
About five homes are located on the curve on State Road 44. Officials have said the new route will mostly be built on farmland. The new road will not be a straight line through the quarter-mile section, but the curve will be significantly reduced. Along with the road realignment, three drainage culverts will be installed under South Centerline Road and State Road 44 to let water flow from Ray Creek.
Centerline Road could remain closed for up to six months, the release said.
Work is set to be completed by Oct. 15, the release said.