Improved US 31 to open ahead of schedule between Columbus and Se - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Improved US 31 to open ahead of schedule between Columbus and Seymour

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Indiana Department of Transportation’s multifaceted $8.5 million project on U.S. Highway 31 between Columbus and Seymour opens to traffic Wednesday, Nov. 23 – three weeks ahead of schedule.

"A safer, smoother U.S. 31 opens to welcome Thanksgiving travelers between Columbus and Seymour," said INDOT Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson. "Construction begins late next year to modernize nearby I-65 as part of INDOT’s record-setting investments in its roads and bridges."

INDOT’s contract allowed Milestone Contractors to close U.S. 31 for 240 days to build a new 382-foot bridge over Sand Creek at the Bartholomew-Jackson County line. During the closure, U.S. 31 approaches to the bridge—located 7.2 miles south of State Road 7 —were raised five feet and ditches were cut on all sides.

In addition, a culvert was replaced north of Sand Creek and an arch structure was built south of Sand Creek at Quade Ditch.

INDOT’s U.S. 31 project also called for building a single-lane roundabout at C.R. 400 South, 1.6 miles south of S.R. 7. Originally slated for 2017 construction, the Southern Crossing roundabout was advanced to 2016 to complete all significant project operations in one year. A 60-day closure for roundabout construction was shortened to 45 days under an acceleration-bonus agreement between the state and its contractor. 

The roundabout was opened to traffic Aug. 2 featuring an 18-foot travel lane, 10-foot truck apron and 156-foot outside diameter.

The U.S. 31 project got underway in mid-March when crews began repairing and resurfacing 16 miles of the north-south highway. Pavement work included replacement of a section under the CSX railroad bridge between E. County Avenue and C.R. 700N in Jackson County. 

Slope work, seeding and minor repair operations will continue into next year.

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