Drivers get used to the U.S. 31 closure, prepare for another closure

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CARMEL, Ind. (Apr. 20, 2014) — As you head back to work after a long holiday weekend, you’ll want to make sure to be patient.

Traffic on the north side is probably going to be busy as folks continue to get used to the detour around U.S. 31 in Carmel. Progress is being made on the huge job of redoing the section between Old Meridian Street up to 136th Street. Since that part of the road closed at the beginning of the month, many locals have been trying to find their own way around. If you’re following INDOT’s recommendation of using Keystone, you’ve probably noticed delays.

“There’s been some increased congestion, but it’s still been pretty quick,” said John Myers of Indianapolis.

“It’s been a little inconvenient getting to Target and school and different places around here, but, overall I think when it’s done it’ll be a good thing,” said Katelyn Davis of Carmel.

When the job is done, Davis and others will be able to use U.S. 31 when it becomes a limited access freeway. Signaled intersections will be replaced by interchanges and overpasses. Myers, who drives to Carmel for work, says the construction detour hasn’t been as bad as he thought it would be.

“I thought I’d probably have to add an extra hour, but it’s really not been awful,” he said. “Probably adds another ten minutes, so, not too bad.”

Carmel police officers are out in force making sure you’re driving safely on the detour route. FOX59 rode along with Officer Lucas Gossett on one of his safety and speed checks right after the closure happened. He says the more officers that are out patrolling, the more likely people will drive safer.

And you’ll have to get used to this routine, because the project won’t be done until Thanksgiving.

“That’s, that’s long,” Davis said.

A temporary traffic signal is working at the U.S. 31 and I-465 interchange that will stop traffic entering I-465 from southbound U.S. 31. It was activated one week before a ramp closure that will detour northbound traffic to make a left turn across southbound lanes. The southbound U.S. 31 to I-465 ramp motions are normally continuous traffic, so the signal was installed to alert you to stop on red and to safely adjust to the change.

This Friday, contractors plan to close the northbound U.S. 31 loop ramp to westbound I-465 for up to a month. This ramp traffic will be detoured to make a left turn and merge with the southbound U.S. 31 ramp to westbound I-465. To allow for this protected left turn, the new traffic signal will stop southbound U.S. 31, specifically traffic entering eastbound and westbound I-465.

For information on the New U.S. 31 Hamilton County, visit US31HamiltonCounty.in.gov.