The wait for a smoother road could almost be over.
For months, motorists have been bracing for bumps and wondering when work near State Road 135 and Smokey Row Road will finally be done. The latest answer from the state: within the next month.
And now, the project has changed. Instead of filling the two patches of asphalt that were ground down in March, the state will seal and repave the intersection, as well as restripe the lanes.
Repaving is slated to start Monday — as long as the weather is clear, Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Harry Maginity said. The road will be open during the work, but construction workers will be directing traffic, he said.
Story continues below gallery
The project started three months ago, when the state started work to replace two portions of asphalt to make a smoother ride on State Road 135. The two portions of the road were ground down and not filled, causing divots in the pavement. The project should have taken two days, but weather delays pushed the work back nearly a month. Then, the state needed to test the quality of the asphalt mix before allowing paving to continue, which was approved two to three weeks ago.
Since then, the delay has been from scheduling conflicts between the asphalt supplier and the contractor, Maginity said.
While waiting for it to be fixed, motorists have to slam on their brakes, drive slower and anticipate traffic jams when approaching the intersection.
Since the project started in late March, four residents have called or notified INDOT to complain or ask questions, according to the department of transportation. Two calls were in May to alert the state of the rough pavement, and two calls were in June to ask when the project would be done.
Local officials say they’ve heard from significantly more people.
Greenwood city hall receives about one call per week about the status of the project, Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers said. When residents call city offices, his staff tells residents to call INDOT, Myers said.
Bargersville’s town manager Kevin McGinnis also receives calls from residents, even though they know that Bargersville is not working on the project, he said. Residents also were concerned about the faded yellow lines that remain on the road.
“I think most people know it isn’t the town’s (responsibility), but they don’t know who to call,” McGinnis said.
McGinnis called the Indiana Department of Transportation three times and emailed before getting a response from the project manager, he said.
State Rep. John Price, who represents portions of Johnson County, has heard from at least 30 people about the intersection project, including residents who called him or stopped him when he is out for dinner or running errands. He began contacting the state in April and followed up every few weeks on what was causing the delay and when the project would be done.
He often commutes on the road, so he shared residents’ frustrations, including concerns about damage to his vehicle, the annoyance of the bumps every day and the chain reaction of drivers slowing down, which could lead to accidents, he said.
“I’m glad to see it done. I’m not very happy about the time it has taken to get it resolved,” Price said.
State officials aren’t sure of exactly how long the work will take. Workers will repave the intersection, and approaches to 12 driveways within the paving area, Maginity said.
A sealant will be placed on top of the road, which will take about five days to dry before the permanent lane striping is added, Maginity said. The current lane stripes were painted, but the state will lay down permanent lane stripes this time.
Since the project started in late March, the Indiana Department of Transportation has received four complaints or comments about the condition of the intersection of State Road 135 and Smokey Row Road. Two people complained about the rough pavement, while the other two called to ask when the project would be done.
To voice your concern, here’s how to contact INDOT:
– Call the Seymour District at 877-305-7611
– Go to INDOT’s website and click “Contact INDOT” then “Report a Concern.”