The ongoing Interstate 70 pavement rehabilitation project moves into its third phase this week, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced.
The section of the patch and rehabilitation project that runs from the Wabash River Bridge at the Indiana-Illinois state line east to State Road 59 is scheduled to begin construction on or after Monday, Sept.19.
Wabash Valley Asphalt officials said they will begin in the eastbound lanes first but will also begin restricting westbound traffic in the right lane while crews strengthen the median shoulders.
The project will reduce the interstate to one lane in a four-mile work zone 24 hours a day, except for most of the weekend. The work schedule will be from 9 p.m. on Sunday until noon on Friday during the construction.
The western leg of the I-70 project is scheduled for completion on Aug. 31, 2012. This phase of the project was awarded to Wabash Valley Asphalt for $4.3 million.
The overall I-70 patch and rehabilitation project, which began Aug. 15, encompasses the entire length of I-70 through Putnam County and cuts across portions of Clay, Hendricks, Morgan and Vigo counties as it runs from the state line to two miles east of State Road 267 (the Plainfield exit).
Motorists in the Putnam County section of the project are now being shifted into the left lane while the construction crew from Milestone Contractors patches and rehabilitates the right lane and shoulder area.
During this phase of construction, which began Sept. 6 and is expected to last six or seven weeks, an 11-foot width restriction will be in place for vehicles.
The patching portion of the project is expected to be completed by Nov. 22. The work is to be finished next year with all permanent pavement markings and reseeding to be finished by May 18, 2012.
"This work on I-70 is necessary due to the heavy truck and volume of traffic that we have on this stretch of the interstate," Alan Plunkett, INDOT Crawfordsville district deputy commissioner, said. "We have some deterioration of the pavement and getting this done now doesn't prolong construction over several years."
INDOT encourages motorists to seek alternate routes. Area residents are urged to use U.S. 40 and State Roads 59 and 267 to avoid the congested areas of the interstate.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone.