A portion of Interstate-70 is getting a facelift.
On Monday, officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) conducted the first of four public informational meetings to discuss three construction projects that will take place simultaneously.
The projects will restrict traffic to one lane in several areas along I-70 from the Indiana/Illinois state line to Plainfield, including the stretch of I-70 running through Clay County.
According to a press release, INDOT Crawfordsville District Deputy Commissioner Alan Plunkett said, "This work on I-70 is necessary due to the heavy trucks and volume of traffic that we have on this stretch of interstate. We have some deterioration of the pavement and getting this done now doesn't prolong construction over several years."
"There are areas that are deteriorated (on I-70) and we needed to get out there and get the project underway," INDOT Media Relations Director Debbie Calder added.
According to INDOT, Wabash Valley Asphalt was awarded an asphalt resurfacing and bridge deck replacement contract estimated at $5.29 million.
The contract will resurface the interstate from the state line to just west of the Wabash River Bridge. It also includes replacing the deck and widening both the eastbound and westbound bridges over Southlake Road (three miles west of United States 41). The project is scheduled for completion in May 2012.
Currently, traffic is restricted to one lane in each direction in the eastbound lanes between Darwin Road, near mile marker 3 of I-70 to the Wabash River Bridge near mile marker 5.
The second project regarding I-70 is a patch and rehabilitation project from the Wabash River Bridge to State Road 59.
Wabash Valley Asphalt will conduct the project at an estimated $4.3 million.
The project is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Sept. 6, and will have the interstate down to one lane in a four-mile work zone in both directions 24-hours-a-day on Sundays at 9 p.m., until Fridays at noon.
Milestone Contractors L.P. will conduct the third project at an estimated $27.9 million. The patch and rehabilitation project will begin at SR 59 and conclude just two miles east of SR 267. It may have three separate five-mile one-lane restrictions in both the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-70 continuously.
According to INDOT and Milestone officials, the patching portion of the project is scheduled to be completed in late November this year and finish next year with permanent pavement markings and grass seeding in May 2012.
Work on the project began Monday, according to Milestone Project Manager J.R. Pitcock.
Pitcock told emergency responders at Monday's meeting if accidents do occur on I-70 during construction, there would be accessibility for emergency vehicles. He added officers with the Indiana State Police would monitor work zones.
With the construction projects looming, INDOT officials encourage all motorists to seek alternate routes if possible. In addition, INDOT officials stated they would release information on possible delays to the public as soon as possible.
Other scheduled INDOT meetings include Tuesday at South Putnam High School, Wednesday at the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library, and Thursday at the Girl Scout Office in Fairbanks Park, Terre Haute. All meetings are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.