Hoosier motorists face more traffic headaches along US 31

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Hoosiers should expect delays along U.S. 31 in Hamilton County over the next couple of days.

Crews began pavement repairs Tuesday morning. The right lane southbound along U.S. 31 was restricted as early as 7 a.m. on Tuesday. The center lane was restricted beginning at 10 a.m.

According to INDOT, people should expect traffic to be limited and directed to the left lane through Wednesday morning.

Begining at 8 p.m. Tuesday, the right lane northbound along U.S. 31 will be restricted. It’ll be off limits until 2 p.m. on Wednesday. These restrictions will apply to the section along U.S. 31 between 146th Street and the Monon Trail overpass.

INDOT said these restriction are supposed to repeat for both Wednesday and Thursday.

Will Wingfield with INDOT said this year’s focus was the area between 146th and 169th Streets. Some of the projects include new exits or interchanges, as well as an overpass and underpass. He said the U.S. 31 construction project is the largest and most aggressive project they’ve had.

“(There is) a lot of work involved. We’re trying to get it done in one year. So, obviously that involves us shifting traffic and doing some temporary closures to get all the work done in time,” Wingfield said.

There are a number of phases involved in the U.S. 31 project. Another phase of the project will begin Tuesday night near 161st Street in Westfield. Crews will work on the new interchange bridge so people should expect delays there too.

“I think it’s a mess and it’s taken a while and it restricts a lot of things that I’m trying to do from going to the gas station and going back home,” Jackson Clifford said.

Clifford said the construction delays have doubled the time it takes him to get around it.

“It gets old. You get tired of it all, but, I mean, it’s going to make the town a lot better in the end,” Clifford said.

Construction on the U.S. 31 project began during 2011. It isn’t expected to be completed until the end of 2015.

“I’m hoping that when it’s done, it’s going to be free flowing and it won’t be the mess that it is right now,” Margaret Newlun said.