Rain could delay major U.S. 31 lane shifts this weekend

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CARMEL, Ind. - INDOT said all the rainy weather could hold up a major traffic project along U.S. 31 in Hamilton County this weekend. So far, the rain is more of an inconvenience for construction crews, but if it continues it could cause big delays.

"We've had a couple of the all day soakers," said Nathan Riggs, with INDOT.

Heavy rain is the theme of the week, and if the weather doesn't cooperate, Riggs said contractors might have some trouble this weekend.

"We're shifting traffic from the inside to the outside, so we can reconstruct the inside lanes," he said.

Traffic will move from its current place on U.S. 31 to newly-created outside lanes. New signals are already up for the shift. The new lanes will extend from 103rd to Old Meridian, but the problem is some of the lanes aren't striped. And crews can't do it if it's raining.

"The contractor needs dry pavement, so they can change those pavement markings," he said.

INDOT has the lane shift planned for late Friday night into Saturday morning, a time when there are fewer cars on the street. But that will depend on what falls from the sky in the coming days.

"If rain prevents us from getting the work done, we just schedule it for the next day. It's possible it could move into next weekend, but right now we're targeting Friday night into Saturday morning," said Riggs.

Riggs said the wet summer so far hasn't presented serious problems. But if rain continues, barrels could be around for longer.

"If we get stuck in this pattern, and we continue to get rain and more operations are delayed, then as we move into the fall, we could definitely be having a different story," he said.

The configurations of intersections at 106th and 116th streets will also change in the shift.

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