Highway project outside Indianapolis nearly over as another begins

Transportation officials say a highway construction project south of Indianapolis is winding down just as another massive project north of the city is beginning.

Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Harry Maginity said crews have been working some 24-hour days to finish work on the $84 million lane widening of Interstate 65 between Greenwood and Franklin by the fall.

"The goal is the end of construction season, which is usually Thanksgiving," Maginity told The Indianapolis Star. "There might be a top-level paving left, but not much more."

The project has caused several travel delays since April 2015. Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness said residents and commuters have gotten used to the construction work and even welcome it because of the benefits in the long run.

"We have a lot of commuters to Indianapolis, and most people are excited to see the expansion to three lanes because it will help for years to come," McGuiness said.

Meanwhile, a $92 million project to add lanes to 15 miles of I-69 in Hamilton County is starting.

The plan is to widen the interstate by one lane in each direction from State Road 37 and 116th Street (Exit 205) in Fishers to State Road 38 (Exit 219), which exits to Lapel and Fortville.

INDOT spokesman Nathan Riggs said workers shifted traffic to the shoulder for three miles in the northbound lanes over the weekend. Crews are planning to put up concrete barriers on Tuesday and Wednesday to protect workers on the median.

"Drivers need to pay attention and be alert for this new lane shift," Riggs said.

Even farther north, an $82 million project that will widen lanes on I-65 in Tippecanoe County is about halfway done, said INDOT spokeswoman Debbie Calder. The estimated date of completion is the fall of 2017.

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