The two choices for drivers going through a busy Center Grove intersection at rush hour are to either find another route or sit and wait in long lines.
Residents and commuters who travel through the intersection of Fry Road and State Road 135 know what the intersection will look like at peak times of the day. If you’re heading west on Fry Road, you’ll end up inching along in backed up traffic, waiting several minutes to make it through the light — especially if you’re turning left to head south on State Road 135.
But the city of Greenwood has a plan to fix that.
This spring, construction will begin to add another left turn lane from Fry Road onto State Road 135, allowing for better traffic flow and less congestion. The work is expected to be done by September. The road will remain open during construction.
The project has long been discussed by city officials, who at one time considered widening Fry Road but later settled on making improvements to the intersection so the work could be done faster and cost less.
Crews will widen the south side of Fry Road to add the new turn lane. They also will repave Fry Road from the intersection to about 250 feet east of Foxmere Boulevard, just before Faith Baptist Church. A sidewalk also will be added to the south side of Fry Road, connecting pedestrians with nearby trails and Northwest Park.
The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission will pay for the project with tax increment financing, or TIF, district funds, city engineer Mark Richards said. Hiring a firm to design the project cost about $65,000, Richards said. A cost for the construction has not been determined, but past estimates ranged between $300,000 and $400,000.
An estimated 10,000 cars pass through the intersection of Fry Road and State Road 135 each day. Currently, westbound Fry Road has two lanes at State Road 135: one for traffic turning right or going straight and a left turn lane. The left turn lane extends about 200 feet and can hold a limited number of vehicles. The right lane also backs up if the vehicle at the front is waiting to cross State Road 135, which holds up others that otherwise could turn right on red.
Crews will add a third lane, so the intersection will include one left turn lane, a lane for traffic turning left or going straight and a right turn lane.
The traffic issues at the intersection have been a topic of concern among city officials for about 10 years, but the funding wasn’t available in past years, Richards said.
“The direction I received several years ago was to look at the most critical areas and this was one of them,” Richards said. “The city actually wanted to construct this project years ago. We are at the point where funding is available. It will certainly allow traffic to flow smoother from Fry Road to State Road 135.”