This year, commuters across Johnson County will deal with construction on nearly every main route, from Interstate 65 to U.S. 31 to State Road 37.
With that concern in mind, work on one of those projects is being pushed back a bit.
This summer, work has continued on an $84 million project to add another lane in each direction to I-65 between Franklin and Greenwood, and work began on a $3 million project to repave U.S. 31 from Stop 18 Road in Greenwood to Westview Drive in Franklin. And recently, the state approved another $3.3 million paving project on State Road 37, which would stretch from County Road 144 to Wicker Road in Marion County.
Story continues below gallery
But the state and the contractors working on the project decided not all that construction should be happening at the same time in order to avoid backing up another north-south route in Johnson County. So work won’t begin to repave State Road 37 until it is done on U.S. 31, Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Harry Maginity said.
“We didn’t want lane closures on U.S. 31 and State Road 37 at the same time. It was a stipulation they not start this work until they get paving work done on U.S. 31,” Maginity said. “We didn’t want to disrupt the traffic flow in the county.”
The crew that will mill down and repave the six miles of State Road 37 is currently working on U.S. 31. Work on State Road 37 is planned to begin in early July, but some final pieces of the U.S. 31 project, such as putting down lane markings, might need to be finished after work begins on State Road 37, Maginity said.
Paving work on State Road 37 also will be done differently than how U.S. 31 is being done, with the goal of disrupting traffic less, Maginity said.
The work is being considered a “moving project,” which means the lane where work is being done is closed for a brief period of time and construction workers direct traffic around the section of work while it’s taking place, Maginity said. Maginity estimated each of the four lanes take about 10 to 14 days to mill down and repave, he said.
On U.S. 31, crews had to patch the road in certain areas before it could be milled down and repaved, which extended the amount of time lanes had to be closed. But that won’t be necessary for the State Road 37 project, Maginity said.
“It may create some back-up as cars move to a single lane while passing by the work, but this won’t be a bad disruption,” Maginity said. “Lane closures for a day, two days — we won’t have any of those on State Road 37.”
The work area also spans a total of 13 intersections where sensors for traffic signals will have to be temporarily removed. The signals will be on a temporary timing loop, which could also slightly impact the flow of traffic, Maginity said.
Repaving State Road 37 is not a part of any work needed for the arrival of Interstate 69, Maginity said. The repaving is routine work that needs to be done to ensure the surface of the road that more than 33,000 vehicles drive on each day is good for the next four to six years, Maginity said.
Where the work will begin on State Road 37 has not been decided, Maginity said. The project is scheduled for completion in October but likely will be done in September, Maginity said.
Here is a look at projects this year on two main north-south routes:
State Road 37
What: A $3.3 million, 6-mile paving project.
Where: Between the intersection at State Road 144 near White River Township and Wicker Road in Indianapolis.
Timeline: Work will begin on July 5 and should be completed by the end of September. The project won’t begin until work is completed on U.S. 31 between Franklin and Greenwood.
How it will be done: Crews will work on one lane at a time, alternating between the northbound and southbound side.
What: $3.9 million, 6-mile paving project.
Where: U.S. 31 between Stop 18 Road in Greenwood and Westview Drive in Franklin.
Timeline: April through September
How it’s being done: Crews are patching concrete sections of the road on U.S. 31, then repaving one lane at a time, alternating between northbound and southbound lanes.