GREENFIELD — Construction crews will close a portion of a busy county thoroughfare this month, citing safety concerns for workers and drivers as a project wraps up.
Beginning late this month, County Road 600W will be open to home and business owners only from U.S. 40 south to Broken Arrow Drive as construction to build a pedestrian-friendly path along the road is completed. School buses are also permitted.
The closure is expected to last two to three weeks, and through traffic will have to take detours to avoid the construction site.
Construction plans call for a bike path along County Road 600W that will connect to the western portion of the Pennsy Trail and add a shoulder expanding both lanes to better accommodate traffic.
Construction began earlier this year and was not expected to cause the road to close. County officials lowered speed limits in the area and urged residents to use caution as they drove through the construction zone.
Now, however, as crews prepare to pave the road, officials say the work is too dangerous to complete with cars frequently driving through the area. It would be safer, and the project would move along quicker, if the road closed, said Adam Kuntz of Calumet Civil Contractors.
The road is expected to close either the last week of September or the first week in October, said Hancock County Highway Department engineer Gary Pool.
The Hancock County Board of Commissioners recently approved changes to an agreement with the contractors to allow for the road to close and to cover about $7,000 of extra expenses that cropped up.
Commissioner Brad Armstrong represents residents living in the area and said he’s seen near accidents in the area during construction in the area.
He’s said he’s not happy the road is closing after officials told residents it wouldn’t, but added the move will help keep drivers and construction workers safe.
The construction firm plans to alert residents living in the area, who will still be able to use the road to access their streets, and local school transportation directors about the closure before it begins, he said.
Visitors to Adaggios Banquet Hall and Conference Center, 5999 W. Memory Lane, located near U.S. 40 and County Road 600W will be able to access the facility during construction, Kuntz said.
Drivers should take detours on county roads 500W or 700W to avoid the construction area, Pool said.
The road is heavily trafficked, and crews avoided trying to close it, Pool said. But leaving it open as crews pave the street could put workers and drivers in danger, he said.
“It is not an ideal situation, but I do believe it’s best,” Pool said.