For the next two weeks, drivers on one of the county’s busiest roads could face long delays as crews repave another section of State Road 135.
Workers have finished repaving the section of the highway between County Line and Curry roads and are now moving south. But while work on the northern section of the road was done in the evening to avoid significant traffic backups, the next section will be done during the day.
For businesses along State Road 135, the construction is a concern because customers could decide to avoid the area during the work.
Earlier this summer, lane closures between County Road 144 and Stones Crossing Road on State Road 135 for concrete patching led to long waits for drivers, as north and southbound traffic had to take turns moving through the construction area.
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The reason the work on the south section of State Road 135 is being done during the day rather than at night is because the lower traffic count allows for daytime work, which is safer for workers and allows the project to be completed quicker, Indiana Department of Transportation spokesperson Harry Maginity said.
Traffic on the north section of State Road 135 ranges from 30,000 to 32,000 vehicles a day and drops to 5,000 to 8,000 on the south section, he said.
Repaving on sections of State Road 135, U.S. 31 and Interstate 65 has bogged down traffic in Johnson County throughout the summer. The state is spending $6.1 million for the pavement preservation project on U.S. 31 from County Line Road to Stop 18 Road and on State Road 135 between County Line Road and Bargersville.
Paving on U.S. 31 wrapped up last month, and repairs to the northern section of State Road 135 are set to be complete early this week. Paving could wrap up as early as Monday, with only finishing work left, including painting lane markings and installing signal loops underneath the pavement, which allows traffic lights to detect vehicles, a state news release said.
Lane closures still will be needed on U.S. 31 and the northern State Road 135 section for that work, the release said.
Starting this week, crews will be tearing up pavement and replacing it with a new layer along State Road 135, between Stones Crossing Road and County Road 144. Drivers can expect delays as they wait to be allowed to move past the work sites.
Charlie Milam, who owns two used car lots along State Road 135, said she is concerned about seeing a drop in business during the repaving, as customers will be less likely to use the road during the construction. The repairs need to be made, but just not in a way that hurts business, she said.
“It needs to be done, but they need to do it at night,” Milam said.
Adam Raymond, who owns a motorcycle repair shop north of Bargersville on State Road 135, said he isn’t concerned about the impact any lane closures might have on people getting to his business because they are a service shop, meaning they don’t rely on drive-by traffic for customers.
A few weeks of inconvenience is a fair price to pay for getting improved roads, Raymond said.