HAMILTON COUNTY — More people with property on US 31 in northern Hamilton County have been forced to move as crews try to make the highway safer.

Mitchel Rockwell, who owns land near US 31, said he and his family will soon have to sell their home.

“The neighbors across the street have already sold their house, and some in Tipton County sold their’s, but there is no communication,” Rockwell said.

Rockwell added that the Indiana Department of Transportation’s US 31 limited access project could force him and more than a dozen other families to move.

INDOT has reported that the project is necessary because of the number of crashes on the stretch of US 31 in question. The department indicated a recent study shows that 432 crashes occurred on an eight-mile stretch of US 31 from 2014 to 2020.

The current scope of the project stretches from State Road 38 to 286th Street — about 7.5 miles. Two interchanges are currently under construction at 236th and 276th streets.

Businesses like Wilson Farm Market are still fighting to stay on their current ground despite INDOT’s looming project.

Scott Wilson is the owner of Wilson Farm Market. He said this project is going to hurt more people than it will help.

“This will be a food desert,” Wilson said. “There is no food out here. Some people need this store.”

Wilson Farm Market shopper Todd Schuck reiterated Wilson’s sentiment, noting that life will get a bit tougher if the store has to relocate.

“Well, I’m not happy about Wilson’s having to relocate,” Schuck said. “I’m not even sure where they are going, quite honestly. I realize they are improving travel conditions.”

Wilson said he is currently slated to lose his property in December 2024.