Commuters: Your drive on Interstate 65 is about to get smoother — for a few miles.
By the end of this week, you can expect fresh pavement on northbound I-65 between Greenwood and Southport Road, and the same on southbound I-65 by the end of next week.
And by the end of the month, crews will be done paving, construction barriers will be removed and I-65 will be back to normal — plus one lane in each direction — between Southport Road and Main Street in Greenwood, Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Harry Maginity said.
That work has been part of continuing construction on I-65 that southside commuters have been dealing with for months. Crews have shifted traffic across the highway, narrowed lanes and required traffic entering or exiting the interstate to go down to one lane.
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That project, along with work to add an interchange at Worthsville Road, to repair and repave the interstate between Franklin and Edinburgh and to add a lane in each direction between Greenwood and Franklin, has led to backups and slow traffic along nearly all of I-65 through Johnson County and the southside this year.
By the end of this week, paving on the northbound side of the interstate will be done, and traffic will be back to its normal pattern on that side of I-65 to Main Street in Greenwood. And by the end of next week, the same will happen on the southbound side of the interstate, according to the state.
Rain could delay the final stages of the project, but Maginity said officials are confident the project will be done before Nov. 1.
“These crews have been working around the clock to get this complete,” Maginity said.
But I-65 work isn’t done yet. This week, drivers will notice crews building a median crossover on I-65 near the Main Street exit in Greenwood.
The median crossover will be used this winter when crews do work to the I-65 bridge over Main Street in Greenwood, which might require demolition in certain areas, Maginity said. Bridge construction is a part of the project to install a third lane on both sides of I-65 between Greenwood and Franklin. That project will take most of next year to complete, Maginity said.
In the next few months, crews will work to finish or get as much done as possible on two other projects.
The Worthsville Road interchange is on pace to be complete just before Thanksgiving, Maginity said.
And if you drive I-65 between Edinburgh and Franklin, work to patch and rebuild the highway section-by-section is planned to be done on three of the four lanes yet this year, Maginity said. Work to the fourth lane and to finish the project will be done next year, Maginity said.