GREENWOOD, Ind. – Two months of construction and detours came to an end Friday afternoon when Greenwood city officials opened the new roundabout at Smith Valley and Yorktown Roads to traffic.
As drivers are still getting used to navigating the circular turn at the intersection, nearby residents say they’re already happy with how the roundabout is affecting traffic there.
“Definitely better, I mean it could take you 10 or 15 minutes just to turn left out of here in an evening,” said Terri Craig. “So yeah, definite improvement.”
Aside from moving traffic through the intersection more smoothly, the roundabout is intended to increase safety at Smith Valley and Yorktown. Drivers often dart into traffic at the bottom of a hill in order to get onto Smith Valley Road from nearby subdivisions.
“My only concern is the speed in which people are going to go through this neighborhood now with only one stop sign down there,” Craig said.
The roundabout completion comes just a few days before major repaving work on US 31 is expected to finish. The repaving between Stop 18 and Main Street has resulted in frustrating traffic backups for drivers over the last few weeks.
INDOT Spokesperson Harry Maginity says the repaving work on US 31 is expected to wrap up on Wednesday or Thursday this week.
“We should be looking at maybe 10 or 12 years, depending on how it wears, before we do this type of work again,” Maginity said.
But as soon as that happens, the repaving work will shift over to State Road 135, Greenwood’s other major north-south artery. State and contract crews will begin the second phase of the $6 million project, repaving lanes of 135 between County Line Road and Curry Road.
Unlike the repaving on US 31, the repaving on 135 will only happen overnight, between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Maginity says the nighttime work is intended to reduce the impact on daytime traffic.
“Obviously there’s inconvenience when you take a lane,” Maginity said. “But we’ll live through it and get to the other side and I think that everybody is going to be very happy with the results.”
Craig hopes the overnight work will be less of a headache than the repaving on US 31 was, but she’s not too sure.
“That’s going to be a mess,” Craig said. “I mean, you can’t even get down 135 going south in the afternoons. That’s going to be crazy.”
After repaving between County Line and Curry Roads is completed, the third phase of the project will shift crews to the south. Repaving will then happen on 135 between Bargersville and Stones Crossing Road.
Maginity said there is no specific time table for when the second phase will end and the third phase will begin.