Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines ... and be prepared for traffic.
Officials with the Ohio River Bridges Project on Tuesday released the most substantial, long-term roadwork changes to date related to the East End Crossing of the bridges project, as well as a Downtown Crossing update. Key will be allowing more time for your commute.
Here is what’s happening in Southern Indiana, and what to watch for:
• Port Road traffic shifted west: [Preparation for the shift will be Wednesday and the actual shift will be completed Thursday]. Port Road traffic will be shifted west to the current southbound lanes in the vicinity of Centennial Boulevard and the Ind. 265 and Ind. 62 interchange. There will be no closures, merely a shift in the traffic lanes. Even during “normal” rush-hour conditions, traffic can get congested in this area; and there is a four-way stop at Port and Middle roads that often gets backed up during a typical rush hour. Therefore, with this lane shift, motorists should anticipate delays and allow at least 10 extra minutes during rush hour commutes. This arrangement will last about a year.
• Westbound lanes of Ind. 265 in vicinity of Ind. 62 interchange shifted Wednesday through March: [Preparation for this shift will occur Wednesday and Thursday morning]. The shift will be complete Thursday afternoon. The current westbound lanes of Ind. 265 will be shifted with traffic utilizing newly constructed crossovers lanes enabling westbound travelers to use a portion of the eastbound lanes. All eastbound and westbound traffic will use the current eastbound lanes.
• Ramp from northbound Ind. 62 to westbound Ind. 265 to change Wednesday through March: [Preparation for this change will occur Wednesday and will be completed Thursday]. There will be a slight detour for motorists going from northbound Ind. 62 to westbound Ind. 265. They will still take the same exit ramp off of Ind. 62, but once they exit they will notice a sign the redirects them slightly. At the end of this ramp, they can enter Ind. 265 with the assistance of a traffic light.
• Missouri Avenue, between Court Avenue and South Clark Boulevard, is scheduled to close Monday for extensive utility work in the area. It’s expected to close early Monday morning and remain closed until June.
The schedule outlined above may change because of weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.
Key points for this week:
• On Wednesday and Thursday, in Indiana anticipate occasional delays and be watchful for construction workers and their equipment as they prepare for the traffic lane shifts.
• Beginning Thursday, when all lane shifts are completed, drivers should allow an extra 10 minutes for their commutes during rush hour. They may, after several days, decide that the extra 10 minutes are not necessary [or they may decide they need more extra time] after they have the opportunity to assess the traffic patterns and possible delays.
• With the additional activities and changes, motorists are encouraged to use caution; drive within the speed limit; observe the signs; anticipate slowed or stopped traffic; and watch for workers and their vehicles.
For more information about the bridges project, visit newsandtribune.com and click on the “Bridges Project” banner.