Utility problems interrupt Greenwood’s Worthsville Road project again

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GREENWOOD, Ind — As Greenwood drivers continue to zig-zag through lane restrictions on Worthsville Road, many have noticed there isn’t any construction happening in the work zone.

“It’s been very, very sparse. I’ve hardly seen anyone around,” said nearby resident Dianna Kaminsky. “I even made a comment to a friend of mine, ‘Why aren’t they working?’”

“I haven’t really seen a whole lot being done,” said fellow Greenwood resident Susan Reynolds.

Back in March, construction crews started finding utility lines and pipes in unexpected places. One issue involved a sanitary sewer line that wasn’t where it was expected to be.

“Maybe they’re not always where they were supposed to go,” said Greenwood City Engineer Daniel Johnston. “Different location, or maybe they weren’t as deep as they should be.”

“There were some record-keeping issues where the sanitary sewer pipe we thought, the drawings were were given showed it to be deeper than it actually was,” said Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers.

Construction crews had no choice but to leave the job site alone until the utility issues could be resolved.  

While the sewer line has since been moved out of the way of construction, a single fiber optic internet line is still preventing road work from resuming.

“It is frustrating because the citizens are upset. They drive by, they don’t see construction going on, they’re wondering what’s going on? Why isn’t this project done?” Myers said.

The $9.2 million widening of Worthsville Road between U.S. 31 and Averitt Road will also involve building a roundabout at the intersection of Worthsville and Averitt. The City of Greenwood is paying $1.8 million, while the state is covering the rest.

The overall $20 million widening of Worthsville Road is part of a bigger plan that has been on the books since 1988 and involves city, county and state resources.

“This is going to be a connector road clear from I-74 to I-65 to 31 to 135 and all the way out to the new I-69,” Myers explained.

The start of construction on the section of U.S. 31 and Averitt Road was delayed by several months last year due to similar utility issues. The one-mile section of work was expected to take roughly two years to complete. City officials still hope to finish the section by the end of 2021.

However, work can’t resume until the Century Link fiber line is moved to a location that will allow construction to continue. That will likely involve cutting and splicing the line, which could lead to internet disruptions in the area.

“Potentially impacting residents, potentially impacting businesses that have their data on those lines as well,” Johnston said.  

Utility contractors will have to work quickly during limited hours of the day in order to reduce impact on area homes and businesses, Johnson added.

City planners hope the line will be moved in time to resume construction by June 7.

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