Harsh Indiana cold puts some roadwork on hold

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 21, 2014) — Another product of the horrible winter we’ve been seeing is that road construction projects have been delayed. The cold weather has left the ground frozen stiff, so crews haven’t been able to get much work done, and it’s causing headaches for drivers.

“We’ve been promoting now for weeks that the month of March is going to be colder than average, the official 30-day outlook from the National Weather Service confirming our thinking,” said FOX59 Chief Meteorologist Brian Wilkes.

This has been a winter when it’s been too cold to do anything outside. Road construction projects are frozen in time, and don’t seem to be getting going anytime soon.

“As we get in to March and April, do the temperatures rise? Do we get back to a normal pattern, or does it stay cold?” asked Will Wingfield with the Indiana Department of Transportation.

He says the weather in March will determine when the projects will get going again. Right now, the equipment on Interstate 65 between the south loop and Southport Rd. isn’t moving. It’s the same thing on the northside at S.R. 31 and 465 where the heavy equipment has been sitting motionless. If March’s weather is anything like Wilkes is thinking, it’ll be like this for a while longer.

“We’ve had a little bit of a reprieve, a couple of days of mild weather, we’ve been able to thaw, but the cold weather pattern will establish itself again and finish off the month of February. And as we’ve been forecasting, we think the month of March will be colder than normal,” said Wilkes.

INDOT says their crews and contractors take winter in to account when making a timeline for projects, so they’re not sure at this point if deadlines will beat out the job. But who would have expected all this snow, some of it is still around.

“That, ya know, prevents us from really having access to the ground to move it to build a bridge embankment or something of that nature,” Wingfield said.

And when the projects sit still, so do the headaches for drivers. The more narrow lanes just add to the rush hour back ups, adding stress and aggravation and time to your drive home. Seems like we’re all at the mercy of nature.

“That will be really what we see in terms of how it impacts our progression,” Wingfield said.

Advice for drivers if you come through a construction areas, allow for extra time, and make sure you pay close attention to the traffic patterns. Maybe hope for warmer weather, so crews can finish the job.

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