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Smokey Row Road work to begin

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Get ready, Center Grove area commuters.

The next road construction project starts Tuesday.

Work crews plan to start widening State Road 135 at Smokey Row Road. The road will be widened for about 1,000 feet both north and south of the intersection, according to an Indiana Department of Transportation news release. Turn lanes and a traffic signal are being added at the intersection.

The cost of the project is about $1.3 million.

Drivers will see flaggers directing traffic in the area beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday, and work will continue until about 4 p.m.

As work progresses, a section of Smokey Row near the intersection will be closed for up to 30 days. But the date for the closure hasn’t been set; and until the road is closed, the disruption for drivers should be minimal, INDOT spokesman Harry Maginity said.

For now, he said, it would actually take drivers longer to find a detour around State Road 135 and Smokey Row Road than it would to drive through the intersection.

“I think it’s going to be a very minor interruption to traffic flow,” he said.

This latest project comes less than a month after work crews finished construction and reopened the intersection of County Line and Morgantown roads, which had been closed since May. Indianapolis, which is responsible for maintenance along County Line Road, wanted to upgrade the intersection, making it wider by adding turn lanes and replacing stop signs with a traffic light. Local residents who work in Indianapolis have been using the route to drive north.

Construction crews also have been upgrading multiple railroad crossings along the west side of the county.

The nearly perpetual construction projects have led to traffic jams and delays for Center Grove area residents. The projects are necessary to ensure motorists in White River Township can drive safely as the area’s population grows, police officials have said.

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