GREENWOOD, Ind. -- Drivers who normally use Smith Valley Road to travel across Greenwood should be prepared for a detour for the next couple months.
City officials will close Smith Valley Road to through traffic between State Road 135 and Averitt Road starting Tuesday, May 30. The closure is expected to last two months, through the end of June, as construction crews build the city’s newest roundabout at the intersection of Smith Valley and Yorktown Roads.
“Smith Valley and Yorktown Road is a bad intersection where we have had numerous accidents, it’s at the bottom of a hill on a very busy street,” said Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers.
Myers says the roundabout is needed as the city’s population continues to grow, particularly in neighborhoods south of the intersection.
“We’re preparing for the future, for the future of I-69 coming off of Smith Valley Road,” Myers said. “We believe that’s going to be an exit so that will increase more traffic.”
Residents who drive through the intersection regularly say they’re looking forward to the new roundabout, but they’re not excited about a two-month detour around the street closure.
“There’s just too much traffic here on the road, and trying to get out of these additions is next to impossible,” said Michael Beck.
“It’s going to be a couple months of inconvenience and that’s going to be it,” said Carol Beck. “And then it’ll be perfect, I think.”
Myers said local traffic to neighborhoods and businesses will be allowed through the affected area, but through traffic will be diverted north to Main Street, and south to Worthsville Road.
“We will increase our patrols, we will increase our traffic safety on those things to make sure that the neighborhoods remain safe, that we don’t have problems with speeding vehicles through the neighborhoods,” Myers said. “We want to make sure that our citizens stay safe.”
The roundabout is just the latest for the city of Greenwood, with larger projects in the works over the next few years. In 2018, the city will spend four months and $2 million constructing a roundabout at the complicated intersection of Smith Valley Road, Madison Avenue and U.S. 31.
In 2021, plans are in the works for a large, dual roundabout system at the busy intersection of Smith Valley Road and State Road 135. The intersection sees about 30,000 vehicles every day and often results in backups during rush hour traffic. The project is expected to cost about $7 million, with federal funding covering roughly $3 million, state funding covering $3 million, and the city of Greenwood providing $1 million.