Senior staff writer
Although the new flyover for westbound motorists to exit I-465 and go south on I-65 has been open for several weeks, motorists should begin to use caution on I-65 from Southport Road to Franklin.
Construction is under way on I-65 between Southport Road and Main Street in Greenwood and is expected to be completed by year’s end. Crews will be working around the clock six days a week.
Later this year, construction is scheduled on the nearly 50-year-old I-65 to add a lane in each direction from Main Street to State Road 44 in Franklin. Placement of a noise barrier was to begin this week. Construction will continue on that segment into 2016.
Cones, orange barrels, concrete barriers, narrower lanes and some overnight lane restrictions will be common sights; existing lanes will be torn up and replaced.
Motorists on the far Southside of Greenwood already have had to dodge construction on Worthsville Road, where a new interchange at I-65 is under construction. The existing bridge will be demolished and replaced which will require lane closures and shifting lanes overnight.
Cost of replacing the existing lanes on I-65, adding additional lanes and constructing the interchange is estimated at $136 million.
Indiana Department of Transportation officials contend that traffic interruptions will be minimal but that motorists eventually can anticipate lane shifts, narrower lanes and some lane restrictions.
The improvements are expected to add to the economic development that has been experienced along the corridor, particularly at Southport Road and Main Street. The next interchanges ripe for development would be at Worthsville Road and State Road 44.
INDOT expects the Worthsville interchange to lessen traffic at the Main Street and Whiteland Road interchanges.
INDOT reports that commercial and residential development on I-65 and increased traffic volume has added to the deterioration of existing lanes and the need for an additional lane in each direction.
In Downtown Indianapolis, contractors will be repairing the northbound I-65 bridge over Morris and Prospect streets and the northbound I-65 to westbound I-70 ramp bridge.
Rebuilding the concrete bridge decks and bridge abutments plus replacing pin joints will begin after Memorial Day.