GREENWOOD, Ind. -- Greenwood city officials are planning to build three new roundabouts as part of the city’s overall effort to improve traffic flow ahead of I-69 construction in the next few years.
The roundabouts are planned at the intersections of Main Street and Meadowview Lane in the next year or two, Worthsville Road and Averitt Road in 2021, and Stones Crossing Road and South Honey Creek Road in 2021 or 2022.
Each of the roundabouts are expected to cost roughly $1 million, with 80% of the money coming from federal funding.
Mayor Mark Myers says the projects are intended to address concerns regarding traffic delays and safety.
“It’s a proven fact that roundabouts are 72% safer than four-way-stop intersections,” Myers said.
The roundabouts also fit into the city’s larger effort to improve east-west traffic flow in advance of I-69 construction through Johnson County. Myers expects construction crews to be converting State Road 37 into I-69 through the area in 2022, eventually connecting to I-465 in 2024.
Greenwood and Johnson County officials are concerned about the future impact that six lanes of interstate traffic will bring to local streets and roads. In Johnson County, I-69 interchanges are planned at County Line Road, Smith Valley Road and County Road 144. Several other roads that currently access State Road 37 will not be able to access I-69.
“For us, Smith Valley Road is going to be the biggest impact,” Myers said. “So we need to make sure we are ahead of the game on the Smith Valley Road side of it.”
Greenwood and Johnson County leaders are discussing plans to widen and extend several local roads enough to smoothly get traffic to and from the new interstate.
“The biggest thing is these things are coming,” Myers said. “We know they’re coming, but we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to pay for them, and that’s the hardest part right now.”
To the south, in Martinsville, work is already underway to prepare local roads to become I-69 interchanges. Several areas of land have been cleared along SR 37, and heavy equipment is in place at the highway’s intersection with Ohio Street.
Construction along 37 is already driving some extra traffic into Martinsville as drivers look for ways to avoid lane restrictions and delays.
“We have a downtown that’s probably going to get a lot more traffic than we’re really normally used to,” said Mayor Shannon Kohl. “That’s going to be something that’s going to be a little uncomfortable for us for a while.”
Kohl says most interchange, overpass and local road improvement plans are in place, and discussions with INDOT have gone well so far. Drivers should prepare for construction backups and detours, she added.
“It’s going to be a major disruption for us,” Kohl said. “But like I said, it’s only temporary, and INDOT has been really good as far as listening to us and hearing our concerns.”