Upgrades underway for State Road 46

Work has begun on a $3 million project that will bring modern traffic signals and more handicap-accessible curb ramps to Columbus during the next four months.

Improvements along streets that constitute more than two miles of State Road 46, including downtown Columbus, are part of a statewide plan to improve safety, said Harry Maginity, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation.

The new traffic signal heads being installed along Second and Third streets, from Lindsey to California streets, feature black back plates with reflective yellow sheeting, Maginity said.

In addition, 89 curb ramps will be installed that meet requirements established by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Maginity said.

As part of the contract, similar improvements will be made this summer at the junction of 25th Street and National Road, as well as at 25th and Beam Road, INDOT said.

The intersection of 25th and National has been considered one of the most dangerous in Columbus, according to annual accident counts compiled by the Columbus Police Department.

The new signals should help reduce crashes since they can be seen by motorists even when the sun is in their eyes, Maginity said.

Whenever any road crew is involved in this type of work, there will always be some type of traffic disruption, he said.

“Expect lane closures at work sites beginning yet this week,” Maginity said. “They will continue throughout the summer until the work is done.”

All work is scheduled to be completed no later than Sept. 20.

While the new traffic signals will be on set timing when installed, traffic conditions will be monitored and adjustments will be made to best serve motorists, Maginity said.

After resurfacing of Second and Third streets is completed, signal loops will be installed for traffic-triggered changes, Maginity said.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.