The end is in sight. Traffic flow should improve dramatically in the southern half of Boone County in the fall.
And traffic will once again flow unrestricted on Interstate 65 in the Whitestown area.
A multifaceted project along I-65 was designed to alleviate traffic bottlenecks and improve traffic flow in what was once rural land south of Lebanon.
Large warehouses, such as the Amazon Fulfillment Center, are now situated on what was once farmland along the interstate, and traffic during shift changes is particularly heavy on roads that were not designed for urban traffic.
The $62.9 million project involved building a new interchange over I-65 at County Road 550 South and improving the Ind. 267 interchange a little to the north.
Work began in 2020 and should conclude in November, weather permitting, Indiana Department of Transportation Public Director Megan DeLucenay said Friday.
The improved bridge on Ind. 267 and new one at C.R. 550 S. will be diverging diamond interchanges, DDIs, which may at first surprise local motorists.
A DDI is a type of interchange in which the two directions of traffic on a non-highway road cross to the opposite side on both sides of a bridge. It is unusual in that it requires traffic on the highway overpass to briefly drive on the opposite side of the road from what is customary.
When entering the DDI, drivers cross over to the opposite lanes of the bridge, guided by signals, signs and pavement markings. DDIs are designed to be safer, more efficient and more cost effective than traditional diamond interchanges and are said to decrease bottlenecks traditionally caused by traffic waiting to turn left to access the interstate, according to INDOT.
The new interchange at C.R. 550 S. is expected to divert traffic from the Ind. 267 and Albert S. White interchanges and reduce traffic in those places by as much as 50%, DeLucenay said.
Also in the same area, but not part of the INDOT project, is the improvement of the intersection of C.R. 400 E. and Albert S. White Drive. C.R. 400 E. is a gravel road, including the half mile annexed by the town of Whitestown, Boone County Highway Director Nick Parr said.
A developer will close C.R. 450 E. from its 3500 block south to Albert S. White Drive on Aug. 15 for reconstruction and paving of the half mile, but the area north of that will remain gravel, Parr said.