If you are driving south this weekend, state transportation officials say you should avoid Interstate 65 in Jackson and Scott counties this afternoon and Sunday.
The Indiana Department of Transportation has announced a large I-65 reconstruction project that includes lane closings that could slow or even stop traffic between Seymour and Scottsburg throughout the weekend, spokesman Harry Maginity said.
Those who plan to drive on I-65 south of Seymour this weekend should either travel Saturday or map out an alternate route using local and county roads, Maginity said.
The first lane closing can be expected this afternoon in northbound lanes between Scottsburg and Austin.
Based on engineering calculations, traffic may be backed up for up to four miles in that area between 3 and 7 p.m. today, he said.
But he warned the longest delays are expected on Sunday.
Motorists can expect lane closings from 2 to 10 p.m. Sunday — with traffic backing up as far as seven miles between 6 and 8 p.m., Maginity said.
“There are going to be serious delays,” Maginity said, adding extra law enforcement will be stationed along the construction zone.
Weather permitting, the southbound I-65 lane closings on Sunday should be expected at the following locations:
-From two miles south of U.S. 50 in Seymour to Uniontown in Jackson County
-Near the Crothersville exit in southern Jackson County
Although U.S. 31 will be designated as a detour, Maginity warns the highway will have more traffic because of the I-65 work.
Since INDOT is prohibited by law from making specific detours that don’t involve their own highways because of liability concerns, Maginity suggests motorists map out their own detours using local or county roads.
Motorists passing through southern Indiana should have plenty of warning about the lane closures and delays. Maginity said permanent electronic information signs in the Indianapolis area will explain the construction work in Jackson and Scott counties.
At midweek, INDOT began setting up portable message boards along I-65 from Indianapolis to the Louisville metropolitan area, he said.
The weekend work is being done to speed up completion of the $54.7 million I-65 Seymour District pavement project, Maginity said.
Beginning Monday, motorists should still expect periodic lane closures between Scottsburg and State Road 11 in Seymour through June 27, he said, but traffic delays aren’t expected to be as severe.
The project involves patching, milling and paving 21 lane miles of pavement and rehabilitating 20 bridges between State Road 56 in Scott County and U.S. 50 in Jackson County. If the weather cooperates, the project can be completed six to eight weeks earlier by working this weekend and one in July.
Maginity said the I-65 renovation work is being done by crews working for the Cincinnati-based John R. Jurgensen Co. and several subcontractors.