NEW PALESTINE — Drivers traveling westbound on U.S. 52 from New Palestine toward Indianapolis will run into two separate construction projects in the coming months.
Indiana Department of Transportation engineers hope to stake out the construction areas by the end of the month.
The intersection at U.S. 52 and CR 700W, along with the intersection of U.S. 52 and Bade Road (from the north) and Davis Road (from the south), located 2.5 miles southeast of Interstate 465, are the two sites.
“People need to understand these are two different projects that will be going on at the same time,” INDOT’s Harry Maginity said.
INDOT officials said it will take nearly 10 months to complete the projects and drivers should be prepared for delays.
“These are two of those four projects that are part of a series of projects for public safety and the reduction of congestion,” Maginity said.
The $1,658,000 Major Moves project is designed to improve intersections and add turn lanes along U.S. 52/Brookville Road in Marion and Hancock counties.
INDOT recently finished improvements to the intersection of U.S. 52 and German Church Road and the nearby Buck Creek Bridge.
As part of the two new road projects, utilities in the U.S. 52 right-of-way will begin relocating services in early February.
“There will be lots of steps and coordinating that needs to be done there,” Maginity said. “Eight different utilities have services in those right-of-ways and only one does not have to relocate.”
While some of the utility relocation can be completed at the same time, others will be done one at a time, delaying an actual start of road construction.
“Weather can interfere or an ice storm might cause crews to be elsewhere,” Maginity said.
Construction will begin around the end of May with Oct. 15 set as an intermediate date and Nov. 15 as the completion date pending no setbacks.
U.S. 52 at CR 700W will be widened to accommodate eastbound right and left turn lanes, a westbound left turn lane and modified turning radii at corners. A new traffic signal will also be installed.
“We did a study to see if traffic count warranted the signal and it did,” Maginity said.
“We’re anticipating that traffic count will continue to climb.”
CR 700W is expected to be the only road closed during the construction phase, but only during specific times and not for more than a few weeks.
The construction on U.S. 52 at the intersection of Bade/Davis Road will add both eastbound and westbound left turn lanes while moderating turning radii. There are no plans for a traffic signal at that intersection.
At both U.S. 52 intersections, existing highway lanes and approaches from county roads will be milled and resurfaced.
Maginity anticipates maintaining traffic along U.S. 52 during the construction phase with reduced speed limits. E&B Paving of Anderson is the project’s prime contractor.
Maginity said there are no state plans for construction at the intersection of U.S. 52 and Gem Road. That original road widening project was to be completed years ago when INDOT widened U.S. 52 through New Palestine, but town officials say it has been pushed back until 2020.
“What they’re doing along U.S. 52 now I think is probably the only construction we’ll have for a long while,” New Palestine town manager Dave Book said.