Madison, Ind., preparing for 'gateway' road project - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Madison, Ind., preparing for 'gateway' road project

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MADISON, Ind. (WDRB) – After a major bridge project in 2014, the city of Madison, Ind., is preparing for another road project that will affect traffic in the area.

The Indiana Department of Transportation arrived at a recommendation for the “gateway” project for nearly a year with a series of public hearings. The recommended plan to improve the entrance into downtown Madison involves replacing a half-mile section of U.S. 421 that directly connects it to Madison’s Main Street and downtown area.

“It probably wasn't my first pick at the time, but we've gone through two years of getting public input and looking at environmental issues,” Madison Mayor (R) Damon Welch said.

Welch said he ultimately supports the plan, as he believes it will provide a positive impact for businesses in downtown Madison.

“We really expect to see an increase in traffic, believe it or not, because we've got a brand new bridge here,” Welch said. “Our citizens from this area go to Louisville a lot.”

According to INDOT, initial estimates for the cost of the project are around $6.8 million. Right-of-way acquisition will have to be done to complete the project. Travel time through the area is expected to decrease by 40 percent, according to DOT.

“This has been talked about for years,” Welch said. “It's become pretty cumbersome making those turns.”

Right now, to get from the Madison-Milton bridge to downtown Madison, drivers have to make three turns at four-way stops. With this plan, there would be just one stop.

“In the coming months, our team will prepare the Draft Environmental Assessment for public review, and collect input on the proposed new route and its impact on Madison,” lead project manager Adam Burns said.

However, some business owners in the area are worried about the impact it could have on them.

“My business is a drive-by traffic business, and in the proposal they're making, my business would be on a dead end cul-de-sac,” said Albert Powers Jr., owner of A-Z Lawn and Garden.

INDOT says land acquisition and final design will be completed by 2018 with construction beginning in 2019. 

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