Hit the Road – All Kinds of Big Roadway Projects are Taking Shape

Hit the Road – All Kinds of Big Roadway Projects are Taking Shape

Indiana is building important connections right now with multiple new roadway projects underway throughout the state. There’s a lot of variety to the projects too, with some designed to improve safety, connectivity, or to establish inviting new spaces along our highways. We’ve been hittin’ the road lately, and lots has been happening. To get you caught up, we’ve gathered a few highlights from INDOT’s recent string of high-profile projects. There’s lots to check out!

 

New Clear Creek Welcome Center, $53.5M

Image from INDOT.

Vigo County will soon be ready and waiting to give visitors to the state of Indiana a friendly welcome now that construction has begun on the new $53.5 million Clear Creek Welcome Center located. The unique-looking structure is going to be established on I-70 eastbound not too far from Terre Haute.

The new welcome center will feature design elements and interactive exhibits that highlight Indiana’s local and regional racing history, specifically the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indianapolis 500. Visitors will also enjoy a children’s play area, adult recreation area, a walking path and dog park. Additional truck parking and trucker restroom facilities are also included. The new facility is scheduled to open in 2025.

“We unveiled the design of Indiana’s new entry signs and shared renderings of the new welcome center last week at IMS with INDOT and Indiana Destination Development Corporation,” said Gov. Eric Holcomb. “Both projects are prime examples of efforts across the state to take Hoosier hospitality to the next level.”

This isn’t going to be the only big rest area project in Indiana’s near future. Quite a few more projects will be on the way. INDOT has a 10-year plan to improve interstate rest areas and welcome centers statewide to modernize facilities. The plan calls for adding more than 1,100 additional semitrailer parking spaces to facilities statewide. The state will be launching $600 million in improvements to 21 rest areas and welcome centers by the end of fiscal year 2030. We currently have 26 rest areas or welcome center facilities on interstate highways across the state.

 

North Split Reopens, Bit More to Come, $320M and $14M

Image from INDOT.

The massive North Split project in Indianapolis recently reopened after a nearly two-year closure. This was a complex, twisty interchange project that cost over $320 million. During construction, more than 40 bridges that had reached the end of their service life were replaced, in addition to numerous changes to traffic flow patterns. Formerly, the interchange had dangerous weaving patterns that were changed to prevent crashes.

Somewhere in the ballpark of 214,000 vehicles pass through this interchange daily, making it one of the busiest in the state. The system brings together I-65 and I-70 and also connects to numerous local roads.

During construction of the interchange, many of those connecting local roads took a bit of a beating due to redirected traffic patterns. That’s why INDOT officials recently an estimated $14 million in upcoming street resurfacing, curb, and sidewalk repairs in the downtown area. Those improvements are expected to continue through the 2024 construction season.

 

New U.S. 31 Railroad Overpass, $28.7M

Image from INDOT.

Just south of Plymouth, crews have begun construction on a $28.7 million project to construct new overpass bridges on U.S. 31. Local and state officials have commented that this area has a pattern of crashes at the crossing’s grade separation. That’s why safety improvements are a major focus of this project.

“Taking U.S. 31 over the railroad will keep drivers from having to stop at the crossing,” said INDOT Commissioner Mike Smith. “Once complete, traffic will flow continuously, and the corridor will be safer for all who use it.”

The contract includes construction of two bridges, one on northbound U.S. 31 and one on southbound U.S. 31, both over the Elkhart Western Railroad. The project is expected to take about two years and be complete in late summer 2025.

 

Ohio Bridge “Mega Project” Advances, Estimated at $1.272B

  • Contractors: TBD (Letting is this fall for Indiana’s section.)

Image from ORX.

The states of Indiana and Kentucky have been working together on a big plan to revamp the I-69 Ohio River Crossing (ORX). Recently, the project took a major step forward with the signing of a bi-state agreement to allow preliminary development and financial planning to move forward for ORX Section 2, which is the new river crossing.

This project will connect Evansville, IN and Henderson, KY. Overall, the plans are divided into three phases:

  • Section 1 is the Kentucky approach. It started in summer 2022 and is expected to be complete by the end of 2025. KTYC is leading this section.
  • Section 2 is a bi-state project that includes the new river crossing. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in 2027 and be complete in 2031.
  • Section 3 is the Indiana approach. It’s expected to let this fall with construction expected to begin in early 2024. Work is expected to be complete in 2026. INDOT is leading this section.
  • The total estimated construction costs are $257.3 million for Section 1 and $1.015 billion for Section 2 and Section 3 (based on current figures).

As for what’s taking place currently, initial work will focus on preliminary engineering services, cost estimates, right-of-way plans, traffic and revenue forecasting, and other services to support a future Bi-State Development Agreement for ORX Section 2. Both KYTC and INDOT will have representatives on the bi-state management team. The states will evenly divide the costs for these planning phases, which are expected to be about $3 million.

 

Paving New Paths

All of this new roadway infrastructure is going to amount to great assets for the Hoosier economy. New connections always pave new pathways for business, so it’s going to be exciting to watch these projects move toward completion and add to our transportation profile. Keep an eye out for future updates on these developments in Building Indiana as construction progresses further. There’s going to be lots more to see!

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