GREENWOOD, Indiana — State highway officials are delaying for a year construction of a new Interstate 65 interchange in a southern Indianapolis suburb as they continue to work on land acquisition.
The Indiana Department of Transportation hasn't been able to reach land purchase agreements with five property owners among the 16 parcels it needs for the project at Greenwood's Worthsville Road about 10 miles south of Interstate 465. The agency is asking a judge to force the sales, the Daily Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1gfdCje ).
State officials now plan to hire contractors in September and start construction of the interchange in the spring of 2015, with completion anticipated that year.
The city is moving ahead with plans for shut down Worthsville Road in the area starting next month in order to widen the road to four lanes in anticipation of its third highway interchange, said Mark Richards, Greenwood's community development services director.
Greenwood is annexing about 1,800 acres around the future interchange. Plans for the area include high-end houses, offices and restaurants.
"I suppose from a broad view that, because of the delay in the interchange project, it's going to postpone some development opportunities out there," he said.
Last fall, the state highway department's plan was to accept bids for the project in December and start construction of the interchange this spring. The department decided to wait on selecting a contractor so it could buy the land and have utilities moved, agency project manager KimberLee Peters said.
"We're lowering the risk to keep the cost down on the project," she said.
The interchange project is estimated to cost $22 million, and Greenwood will pay half the total costs up to $11 million.
Information from: Daily Journal, http://www.dailyjournal.net