Lane closures begin next week on U.S. 50 in Seymour


Two months have passed since Milestone Contractors started work on the $15 million reconstruction of a 1.25-mile segment of East U.S. 50 (Tipton Street) in Seymour.

Next week, additional lane closures and restrictions will be in place on both sides of the highway between Sandy Creek Drive and Steven’s Way as crews begin removing the median and placing temporary asphalt for the next phase of construction.

That work is expected to last two to three weeks, possibly longer, depending on weather, according to a news release from the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Seymour city engineer Bernie Hauersperger said he remains very positive about the construction, even if it is causing traffic headaches.

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"I know it is going slower than they expected with weather delays and other issues," he said.

Milestone started construction in late April at the twin bridges over Sandy Creek. Both bridges are being widened to accommodate a center turn lane and pedestrian path that will be added as part of the project. Traffic remains shifted to the far right lanes and shoulders as work continues on the bridges.

Hauersperger said motorists may notice dewatering activity throughout the project.

"If you did not see the dewatering filter bag being utilized at the I-65 interchange for better water quality for downstream water, it looked like some water ride gone wrong," he said. "It ballooned to the size of a small house, so you are seeing some interesting construction techniques."

The next phase of construction should begin later this month or in early August and will move all traffic to westbound lanes while the eastbound lanes are rebuilt.

During this phase, traffic will utilize temporary ramps and traffic signals when entering or exiting Interstate 65. This configuration will remain in place through the end of the year, at which time traffic will return to its normal pattern for the winter months, according to INDOT.

In addition to full-depth pavement replacement between Agrico Lane and U.S. 31 and bridge widening, a two-way left turn lane, intersection improvements at U.S. 31, bridge painting and construction of a multiuse path are included in the project. The $1 million multiuse path is being funded by the city of Seymour.

The features are designed to improve traffic flow and make it safer for vehicles and pedestrians traveling through the busy corridor.

Two travel lanes in each direction are expected to be maintained throughout the duration of the project. The date for substantial completion is Oct. 31, 2021, with some activity continuing through June 2022.

Motorists are reminded to slow down, use extra caution and drive distraction-free through all work zones.

"There are some areas that are backing up traffic and randomly slowing the fast lanes, so I hope all are still watching carefully when driving the corridor," Hauersperger said. "I am also seeing some drivers trying their NASCAR moves to get to the front of the pack."

Police presence in the area has increased to deter speeding and distracted driving.

"Police Chief (Bryant) Lucas and other officers are expected to closely watch speeding and dangerous driving through this area," Hauersperger said.

The bulk of Phase 1 of the U.S. 50 project will get underway in early August. At that time, all traffic east of Sandy Creek Drive and Frontage Road will be moved to the westbound lanes while the eastbound lanes are rebuilt. The existing concrete pavement will be removed and replaced with full-depth asphalt.

Phase 2 is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2021. At that time, all traffic will be moved to the eastbound lanes of U.S. 50 while the westbound lanes are rebuilt. The Interstate 65 ramps on the north side of U.S. 50 will be closed, but traffic will be able to get on and off the interstate using realigned ramps with temporary signals.

In Phase 3, all traffic between Agrico Lane and Sandy Creek Drive and Frontage Road will be moved to eastbound lanes while construction gets underway in the westbound lanes and will return to its respective lanes east of Sandy Creek to Steven’s Way.

Between Steven’s Way and U.S. 31, traffic will shift again to the right while median work is completed. This work will begin in the summer of 2021 and also will include the widening of the north side of the Sandy Creek bridge for the addition of a sidewalk.

Phases 4 and 5 will get underway in late summer of 2021. A dedicated right turn lane for eastbound traffic turning south onto U.S. 31 is going to be added. Also, the turn lane taking traffic from southbound U.S. 31 to West U.S. 50 will be extended, and a concrete island will be constructed to separate the right turn lane from westbound traffic.

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