US 31 Roadway Improvements
DES. NO. 1601017
Austin, Scott County, Indiana
Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) - Seymour District
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is developing plans for the proposed US 31 Roadway Improvement Project (Des. No. 1601017) located in Austin, Scott County, Indiana.
The purpose of this project is to reduce conflict points between motorists and pedestrian/bicycles along US 31, improve mobility of pedestrians/bicycles along US 31 and SR 256, improve existing pedestrian facilities to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, and address existing roadway drainage issues. The need for this project is evidenced by the overall lack of pedestrian/bicycle facilities along US 31, lack of continuous pedestrian facilities along SR 256, and existing drainage issues along the project corridor. Currently, pedestrian and bicycle facilities along US 31 are largely non-existent. The lack of pedestrian facilities forces pedestrians/bicycles to share existing travel lanes with vehicular traffic. Crash data reviewed between 2010 and 2016, identified an accident resulting in a fatality of a bicyclist who was rear ended while traveling along US 31.
The project proposes to reconstruct the existing four-lane typical roadway section of US 31 to a three-lane typical roadway section from SR 256 to Wilbur Avenue. The roadway will consist of two, 12-foot wide travel lanes (one in each direction) with a 12-foot wide two-way left-turn lane (TWLTL), new curb and gutter adjacent to each outside lane, new storm sewer facilities, a five-foot wide sidewalk along the west side of US 31, and an eight-foot wide shared-use path along the east side of US 31. The sidewalk and shared-use path will be separated from the roadway by a five-foot wide buffer where feasible. The width of the roadway pavement will be reduced by six-feet. However, the typical roadway section will be widened by a total of approximately 18-feet due to the addition of the sidewalk, shared-use path, and grass buffers. As US 31 approaches the SR 256 intersection from the north (southbound approach), the 12-foot wide TWLTL will transition to a 12-foot wide dedicated left-turn lane. The northbound approach pavement markings will be modified to create a 12-foot wide dedicated left-turn lane and a 12-foot wide thru/right-turn lane. The existing signal infrastructure will be modernized and modified to account for the change in lane types at the intersection, as well as provide the necessary clearance for ADA curb ramps. New pedestrian push buttons will be installed at the northwest and northeast corners of the intersection for the new pedestrian crossings of the westbound and southbound approaches. From the US 31 and SR 256 intersection, the project will extend new sidewalk along the north side of SR 256 east for approximately 0.15 mile to the existing sidewalk near Howard Street and include ADA compliant curb ramps at the intersection with Church Street. The sidewalk will be six-feet wide and located immediately behind the existing curb.
The proposed construction of this project will require 2.43 acres of new permanent right-of-way and 0.96 acre of temporary right-of-way.
The maintenance of traffic (MOT) will consist of two phases with at least one-lane of traffic maintained during each phase of construction. During phase one, the southbound lanes (west half) of US 31 will be closed for construction and traffic will be shifted to the northbound lanes (east half). During phase two, the northbound lanes (east half) of US 31 will be closed for construction and traffic will be shifted to the previously-constructed southbound lanes (west half). Additionally, the north side of SR 256 from US 31 to the eastern project limit will be closed. This closure will reduce the existing two travel lanes down to one travel lane east of US 31 in the area of the culvert along SR 256 and vehicles will be directed by a flagger. Access throughout construction will be maintained through use of flaggers and signage. School corporations and emergency services will be notified of closures prior to construction. The proposed start of construction is Spring 2023.
Public Notice (September 22, 2021)
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and INDOT have agreed this project falls within the guidelines of a Categorical Exclusion (CE) Level 4 environmental document. The CE document with the preliminary design plans are available for review below.
All interested persons may request a public hearing be held and/or express their concerns by submitting comments below or to the attention of Sarah Everhart at (317) 547-5580 or firstname.lastname@example.org on or before October 6, 2021.
Sarah J. Everhart,
Senior Environmental Specialist
American Structurepoint, Inc.