Winter is typically a time for a break from road construction, but in Franklin, some work is continuing to try to keep a major project on schedule.

Water main work is expected to continue this month along Jefferson Street, where three phases of work are set to begin and end this year. The work is part of a multi-million project to rebuild and improve the road, from U.S. 31 toward Interstate 65.

And motorists will continue seeing work along King Street near I-65, where crews are working to redevelop the area as a gateway into the city, with decorative signs, landscaping and trails.

Those two projects are the biggest that are planned in Franklin in 2017, city engineer Travis Underhill said.

Story continues below gallery

Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

Motorists can also expect paving projects in neighborhoods and on side streets throughout the county, which is typical each summer.

In Greenwood, a new roundabout will be added at the intersection of Yorktown and Smith Valley roads. The city has been planning the $1.6 million project for years to address congestion that has continued to increase at the intersection in recent years.

While most work in Franklin will be done in the summer, continuing some work during the winter will allow projects to stay on schedule, and potentially ahead of schedule, Underhill said.

His hope is that work on the water main can be done early this year on the next section of Jefferson Street to be improved, between U.S. 31 and the area finished last year. Then, that prep work can move to the next sections further east, he said.

This summer, three phases of work are set to be done on Jefferson Street, with work beginning in March on the section between U.S. 31 and where work was finished last year. In July, work will begin from East Court Street to Home Avenue, and then in September, construction will move to the section between Home Avenue and the railroad tracks.

Each section will be closed during construction, and traffic will be rerouted. During the third phase, between East Court Street and Home Avenue, traffic will be changed to two-way on East Court Street, similar to what was done on West Court Street last year, Underhill said.

Underhill is confident that the project will stay on schedule, especially with work being done through the winter, so all three phases will be completed by the end of the year, he said.

Continuing work along King Street, which includes new signage, landscaping and trails, is expected to be complete by May or June, if not sooner, he said.

Crews are working on two towers that will mark the entrance into the city at the intersection of King Street and Paris Drive, and backlit glass signs will be finished soon, he said. Crews have been able to continue that work during winter with weather being at or above freezing, he said.

Next, workers will finish two concrete signs, landscaping and pave the trails along the road, he said.

The work is part of a larger project to redevelop the area, including creating a roundabout off Paris Drive and bringing infrastructure, such as water and sewer lines, to the area to prepare for development. Much of that work was finished last year, he said.

Author photo
Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2718.