Expect delays on Lloyd

Jessie Hellmann

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Thanks to a new construction project taking place on the Lloyd Expressway, students driving to and from the university may experience more difficulties than usual.

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) began work on the Lloyd Expressway in the spring to repave the nine-mile stretch of road from Wabash Avenue to the Vanderburgh-Posey county line.

The overall contract completion date is in November said INDOT Representative Cher Elliot.

Drivers coming east on the Lloyd Expressway will not be affected by the construction as much, but drivers heading west may want to take the University Parkway, north of campus, or Broadway Avenue to Schutte Road and enter campus by Clarke Lane.

The goal of the construction is to repave the nine-mile stretch of the expressway.

Elliot said the construction is in the “milling” phase right now. During this phase, a piece of equipment is taken through the construction to chisel up the top layer of pavement.  After this phase, construction workers will pave over and put new asphalt on top.

Elliot said INDOT has been receiving complaints nine months prior to the construction project starting regarding potholes in the area. Elliot also said INDOT monitors all of it’s roadways and schedules rehabilitation project for when roads begin to deteriorate. Because of the poor condition of the expressway, INDOT decided the time for rehabilitation was now.

When the construction project is completed, motorists will experience a smoother commute than prior to the construction, she said.

INDOT does recognize USI’s 2011-2012 school year is approaching, and wishes students to remain safe while traveling through the construction zone.

Towards the beginning of the construction, accidents were frequent.

“Within the first six weeks of the construction we investigated over 30 crashes, but with the assistance of the media, and the added patrols those numbers dwindled,” Indiana State Trooper Odd Ringle said.

Ringle expects those numbers to increase once classes at USI begin again Monday.

He said the other state troopers noticed a lot of the students who were stopped prior to summer vacation were USI students, and encourages everyone to be responsible.

INDOT recommends drivers leave earlier than they normally would to give themselves extra time to reach their destination.

Ringle said students should expect delays every morning and afternoon.

“Our first piece of advise is just to slow down,” Elliot said. “By slowing down, that gives you more time to be able to react to any situation that may take place.” 

According to the INDOT website, four out of five people who die in highway work zones are either vehicle drivers or passengers. The website encourages motorists to stay alert and pay attention because speed limits may be reduced and workers may be present.

“We know school is getting ready to start very soon at USI,” Elliot said. “We just encourage students and motorists to pay special attention and allow additional time to get to their location.”

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