MORGAN COUNTY, Ind. – Starting Saturday, January 2, State Road 37 is scheduled to close between S.R. 39 and Morgan Street.
The five-mile stretch is expected to be closed for most of 2021 and will allow for accelerated construction for the I-69 Finish Line project.
“They’ll basically rebuild the lanes of what was 37 and upgrade them to interstate standards to create I-69 here in Martinsville,” said INDOT spokesperson Natalie Garrett.
According to INDOT, the official detour for north-south state highway traffic follows S.R. 39, S.R. 67 and S.R. 144. Long-distance traffic is encouraged to avoid the construction altogether and use alternate routes including Interstate 65, S.R. 135 and Interstate 70.
“There will be some headaches, I think, along the way, but I think the long term gains will outweigh those,” Garrett said.
Although detours will be posted throughout the work zone, local drivers are expecting major delays starting this weekend.
“There’s going to be a lot of people that aren’t either going to realize it or they’re just going to forget and they’re going to back up a lot of the local roads,” said Martinsville resident, Taylor Lowry. “I think eventually it will be worth it. But in the meantime, yeah it’s going to be a headache.”
“I’m sure it’ll be slow, just like it was for the last section of it,” said Bloomington resident, said Kaleb Throckmorton.
Garrett said a full highway closure, as opposed to partial restrictions, will make the project safer for contractors and knock about a year of construction off the overall project.
“The contractor will be able to bring in more crews, more equipment,” she said. “They’ll be able to work on multiple bridges.”
The process of closing the highway will start early Saturday morning and finish by late Saturday afternoon.
Several east-west roads will remain open throughout the closure to provide local access across S.R. 37.
Aside from the closure in Martinsville, S.R. 37 will also be restricted to one lane in each direction up to the Johnson County line starting on Monday. Contractors there will begin the process of placing barrier walls in preparation for a complete traffic shift to the northbound side of the highway. Main line work through Johnson County is expected to begin in 2022.
The $1.5 billion I-69 Finish Line project is slated for completion in late 2024 after the interstate connects with I-465.
To learn more about the project, click here.