By BRADEN LAMMERS
Drivers heading southbound on 10th Street in Jeffersonville may need to add a little more time to their commute.
Lane restrictions on 10th Street could start as early as next week, according to Chad Conwell, maintenance and traffic manager for the Ohio River Bridges Project. He presented a request at Jeffersonville’s Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday morning that would limit southbound traffic to one lane through 2016 from the Interstate 265 interchange for about two-thirds of a mile toward downtown. Northbound 10th Street — and Ind. 62 when drivers are north of the Interstate 265 interchange— will maintain two lanes, Conwell said.
Phase-one work on 10th Street and the I-265 interchange is expected to start next week with phase two of the project slated to begin in mid-November.
Phase one will include lane shifts that will limit the southbound traffic to one lane, and northbound to two lanes. During phase two, the loop ramps to access I-265 will close.
Conwell explained that new ramps will be constructed to access 10th Street and Ind. 62, as well as two traffic signals to help manage traffic.
As part of the construction and traffic management plan, officials with the bridges project also asked that the speed limit in the area be lowered to 45 mph as drivers approach the interchange, and drop to 35 mph when they are within 2,000 feet of the interchange.
“They [Indiana Department of Transportation] are doing this north of the 265 intersection, they are just asking the city to do it south of it,” said Jeffersonville City Engineer Andy Crouch.
Before construction is complete, there will be two new structures on 10th Street.
“Through a new design process, there’s going to be two roundabouts on 10th Street,” Conwell said. “You’re not going to use the roundabouts until close to the end of the project.”
The roundabouts will be in place before drivers reach the I-265 interchange.
A request was also made that when the road reopens that the city maintain the lower speed limit.
“After construction’s over, through the intersection, they want to keep it 45 [mph],” Crouch said. “It’s currently 55 through there.”
Before the board of public works approved the requested changes, Mayor Mike Moore asked about a request he made to the state this summer to improve the Ind. 62 and Utica-Sellersburg Road intersection, just beyond the I-265 interchange.
The tentative plan Moore presented was to create a left-hand turn lane on Utica-Sellersburg Road on both sides of Ind. 62. It was requested that if the city installs the turn lanes, the request to the state would be to put directional signals on the traffic lights.
Crouch said the state did not have any issue with the proposal to extend the turn lanes and add a lane signals to the intersection, and he is working with a state engineer to develop the plans.
HALLOWEEN ROAD CLOSURES
Road closures were also approved for Jeffersonville’s upcoming Halloween events.
A new event Oct. 26 will close portions of Riverside Drive and Market Street.
Sara Schutz, director of special events and RiverStage for the Jeffersonville Parks Department, said a 5K fun run — and a one-mile kids’ run before the 5K planned with Greater Clark County Schools — will close Riverside Drive from Spring Street to Clark Avenue starting at 4:30 p.m. that day. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., Clark Avenue from Market Street to Riverside Drive will be closed. The closures will be in effect until 7 p.m.
Trick-or-treat in downtown Jeffersonville will also cause some road closures.
Spring Street, from Court Avenue to Maple Street, will be closed from noon to 9 p.m. Oct. 28 to allow for the entrance setup for the trick-or-treat event. The remainder of Spring Street, from Maple to Market Street, will close from 5 to 9 p.m.