Construction crews working on Interstate 69 are preparing for an influx of traffic as Indiana University students begin moving in for the new academic year.
The Indiana Department of Transportation is in the final stages of construction of a 21-mile section of the highway from Bloomington to Martinsville.
The Transportation Department is trying to finish work on two overpasses in Bloomington that are considered choke points for traffic, The Herald Times reported .
The bulk of the school's more than 40,000 students are expected to arrive next week, said Chuck Carney, a university spokesman.
There will still be lane restrictions on the north end of the project. Commuters can avoid the area using two alternative routes, said Andy Dietrick, a spokesman for the Transportation Department.
Contractors are trying to meet an Aug. 31 target of substantial completion. The state set that deadline after taking control of the project from a private developer last year.
The timeline includes buffer days that account for equipment issues or wet weather, but most of those days have already been used, Dietrick said. Significant rains may push the project's completion date into September.
"It's not just a rainy day, it's the kind of rain," Dietrick said. "If it's an all-day saturation, it will take longer to dry out."
Once substantial completion is reached, most interchanges and access roads will be open, though work will still continue on the project.
"It won't be pretty, but it will look more and behave more like a functional interstate highway," Dietrick said. "People who think we'll disappear Sept. 1, that's not the case."