Rain delays INDOT’s work on U.S. 31 as big changes loom

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Construction concerns hurting local restaurant’s bottom line

They’ve got the orange barrel blues up in Hamilton County with some business owners blaming the U.S. 31 construction project for hurting their bottom line.

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By Michael Henrich

CARMEL, Ind. (Sept. 11, 2014) -- Bad weather has caused a slight delay in the Indiana Department of Transportation's plans for U.S. 31 in Carmel as big changes loom this week.

Instead of shifting traffic on U.S. 31 north of 136th Street on Wednesday, that shift will happen Thursday.  New ramps on and off 136th Street will also open Thursday, according to INDOT spokesperson Nathan Riggs.

The bigger potential headache for motorists involves the change that was pushed back until Friday.  INDOT plans to open the new Main Street bridge over U.S. 31 and, as a result, close the Carmel Drive crossing in order to build a new bridge there.

"There’s still the issues of people having trouble finding their way to where they want to go," Riggs said.  "The access is there, but sometimes people get lost in the construction, unfortunately."

Riggs said there is a light at the end of the tunnel, pointing to the reopening of the closed section of U.S. 31 around Thanksgiving this year.  Work on the rest of the corridor will continue through 2015.

"Most people understand why we’re doing this project: increasing safety, increasing mobility, getting rid of the traffic signals and decreasing congestion," said Riggs.  "But that doesn't make it any less painful in the meantime."

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