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INDOT closing U.S. 31 in Carmel for better part of 2014

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U.S. 31 mapA section of U.S. 31 in Carmel will be closed as early as April 4 until Thanksgiving, instead of next year, the Indiana Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.

The closure is from 136th Street on the north end to Old Meridian Street on the south end, and will affect motorists headed to IU Health North Hospital, St. Vincent Carmel Hospital, as well as office buildings and hotels in the U.S. 31 corridor.

The official detour routes are Keystone Parkway and Interstate 465, but INDOT and Carmel officials are expecting a lot of local traffic to be diverted onto Illinois and Pennsylvania streets, which run parallel to U.S. 31.

During the closure, motorists will be able to cross over U.S. 31 at 136th and Old Meridian, which is a small street just north of the intersection at 116th Street.

The closure is part of the larger $1.2 billion upgrade to U.S. 31 that’s removing traffic signals and building new overpasses and interchanges, all to shave 30 minutes off the drive time between Indianapolis and South Bend.

The $141 million contract for the Carmel section was awarded last year to a joint venture between E&B Paving Inc. and Gradex Inc.

The closed section isn’t the only construction site. Prep work is under way at the I-465 interchange, which will get new flyover ramps. New interchanges with dogbone-shaped roundabouts will be built at 106th, 116th, 131st/Main and 136th streets.

Underpasses will be built at 111th and 126th Street/W. Carmel Drive, which will no longer connect to U.S. 31.

Also during the closure, INDOT will build a new roundabout on the north end of Old Meridian, where it connects to 136th and Smokey Row. Smokey Row will be closed for 60 days, starting early this summer, INDOT spokesman Nathan Riggs said.

Local motorists will be able to use 131st Street or 126th to cross over U.S. 31, but both avenues will not be open at the same time, Riggs said. INDOT plans to close 131st Street first, he said.

Moving up the highway closure doesn’t mean the whole project will be finished early, Riggs said, but it will have a big impact north of 116th Street. “North of that point will be free-flowing,” he said.

Eight traffic signals from Carmel to Westfield will be gone by the end of the year.

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  • Wow
    Just Wow
  • Wow
    Wow
  • This is dumb
    THIS IS STUPID!!!!! we shood be putting our mony into something important like lowering mcdonolds prices
    • Correction
      Brandon, with people terminating at 111th and then going to US31 to go south, the turn will be quite easy now with much less traffic heading south. I believe there will be issues, but let's keep our heads on our shoulders and use them to think through until Thanksgiving.
    • Brandon
      Exactly. Now where does the traffic go when it hits 111th? Over to Spring Mill, or perhaps, over to right turn on Meridian with no stop light, nothing. A total mess for the longest time. Its going to be at least a year until they get the Illinois finished to 106th, and what then? Oh yes, they have to build the roundabouts at Illinois and 106th, not to mention the huge roundabout at Meridian and 106th. Poor planning on the Indot and Carmel's part, and Carmel for one, does not care (or is incompetent)
      • one-lane closures too
        North and south bound US 31 from 116th to Old Meridian and 146th to 136th will be down to one lane during this time. http://us31hamiltoncounty.in.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Closure-Detour-Graphic.jpg
      • Crossover
        Why does the article state that you can 'cross over' at Old Meridian? This road is currently right turn only from northbound 31, their is no intersection or crossover currently.
      • Here is the detail!
        This story writes itself! Hard to believe there is no exit at Carmel Dr. but that was the Mayors call. It's all documented. http://carmelchatter.com/showthread.php?284-The-Main-Street-Challenge&highlight=Main+challenge
      • Nope
        I did some research and found that Carmel's citizens wanted an interchange at Carmel Drive but the Mayor demanded that INDOT put the interchange at Main Street to make the surrounding property more valuable thereby getting the Mayor more tax revenue. The commercial areas at Carmel Drive were sacrificed. Besides putting more traffic in Main Street through Old Town is a stupid idea as it is already a mess, and the street cannot be widened. Politics over good planning is Carmel's trademark.
      • Fred
        My understanding is Carmel could have had an interchange at Carmel Dr or one at Main St. They chose to have Main St for the direct connection from US 31 to downtown Carmel.
      • What?
        There's no interchange at Carmel Drive? That's crazy. That is the access point for tons of commercial and housing. How in the world did this happen? This is going to really hurt this area.
      • RKW
        Actually, Illinois is complete parallel to the part of US 31 that will be closed this year. You can get from 136th St all the way to 111th St on Illinois. That's more than enough to bypass the closure. And by the time they close the southern half next year, Illnois will be complete all the way down.
        • Oops
          Except, that Illinois will not be done south of 111th by that time. So the article neglects (or the city doesn't want to say), much of that traffic will be diverted to Spring Mill. What a nightmare.

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