The Indiana Department of Transportation has announced its preferred road-construction company and highway design partner to widen and modernize 14 miles of Interstate 65 between Seymour and Columbus.

The $143 million project will add travel lanes between U.S. 50 (Exit 50 at Seymour) and State Road 58 (Exit 64 at Columbus), including the rehabilitation of seven overpass bridges, INDOT announced.

In its Request for Proposal, INDOT informed contractors that it wanted the I-65 Southeast Indiana Project to widen the interstate from two lanes to three lanes for both northbound and southbound traffic along the 14-mile stretch, said Harry Maginity, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation Seymour District office, in March.

While some of the needed I-65 work could be started this year, Maginity said he did not expect major construction to occur before 2018.

The agency is focused on a proposal by E&B Paving Inc., of Anderson and United Consulting Engineers Inc., of Indianapolis, and will make details of the build-design team’s plan available for public review starting at 9 a.m. Thursday.

INDOT reviewed proposals submitted by three qualified design-build teams, which also included paving contractors Milestone Contractors L.P., which has six principal offices in Indiana including Columbus, and Rieth-Riley Construction Co. Inc., based in Goshen.

In addition to meeting technical and quality requirements, INDOT said the E&B Paving Inc. proposal also:

Provides an excellent pavement design that will add five years to the life of the roadway and create a smoother surface for motorists.

Contains well-defined strategies to improve safety for workers and the public, including the use of temporary concrete barrier walls during construction.

Exceeds by $1 million the goal for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals — especially African American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian — own a majority stake in a small business.

Proposes a planned completion date 44 days ahead of the technical requirement.

Project documents, the selected preferred proposal, and an explanation of the preliminary selection will be available for review beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday on the project website or at INDOT’s offices on Senate Avenue in Indianapolis.

Public hearings about the selected preferred proposal will be conducted at 6 p.m. June 7 in the Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St., and 6 p.m. June 8 in the Brownstown Town Hall, 200 West Walnut St., Brownstown. Both meetings will have a brief presentation followed by a formal public comment period.

INDOT is encouraging the public to arrive early and ask questions before the presentation by project staff, who will also be available after the formal hearings.

The final selection of the build-design team is expected to be made after the June 8 public-comment deadline.

I-65 widening project

Where to find I-65 widening proposal between Seymour and Columbus

— Starting 9 a.m. Thursday, the public may view the proposal online at

www.in.gov/dot/div/contracts/65se/65SE.htm.

— Visit INDOT’s Innovative Project Delivery Division during business hours at 100 N. Senate Ave., Room N642, Indianapolis.

How/when to comment

— Public hearings will be conducted at 6 p.m. June 7 in the Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St., and 6 p.m. June 8 in the Brownstown Town Hall, 200 West Walnut St..

— The public is encouraged to submit written comments about the preferred proposal, preliminary selection and proposal-evaluation process by 5 p.m. June 8. Comments may be emailed to sperez@ifa.in.gov or mailed to Project Manager Silvia Perez, One North Capitol, Suite 900, Indianapolis, IN 46204.