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Construction on the western section of the U.S 50 bypass around North Vernon is speeding toward completion with the opening of 4.5 miles of new roadway expected in November.

“We have a very good crew working down there, and if the weather holds, I am confident we can have a ribbon cutting by mid-

November.”

Construction of the western portion of the bypass began in March 2012. The section extends from U.S. 50 northeast to State Road 3 north of North Vernon.

Completion of this portion of the project is expected to relieve much of the truck traffic that currently funnels through downtown North Vernon. Once the bypass project is completed, the segment of U.S. 50 that runs through North Vernon will be renamed and turned over to the city. The city street department will assume control and upkeep of the old U.S. 50.

“As far as I know, we haven’t decided on what the new name will be, and I am not sure how everything is going to work yet, but I am sure going to be glad when it all gets done,” said Rick Marksberry, manager of the North Vernon Street Department.

“The bypass is going to help all the semis that come through here, and it is going to help all of us, too,” he said. “I know it will have an impact on the street department, but we won’t know what that will all be until we get in there. I am looking forward to it”.

The second part of the bypass project will not begin for several more months after an additional public meeting is held, INDOT said in a statement.

The second part of the bypass project will run from State Road 3, north of the city, southeast to U.S. 50. The initial route was announced in December.

Since December, INDOT has conducted several environmental studies, has met with affected property owners and local officials and has modified its original plan.

Two changes made to the original program will have a noticeable effect on the community.

Originally, the plan called for the new U.S. 50 East to connect with the existing U.S. 50 about 2,000 feet east of the Deer Creek Road intersection. According to INDOT, in order to reduce construction costs and lower the impact on several properties near the intersection, the plan now calls for the new bypass route to intersect with the old U.S. 50 at or before Deer Creek Road.

INDOT also announced that a bridge should carry County Road 20W over the bypass.

INDOT plans to hold an additional public meeting in two to three months and the public will be notified before the meeting to discuss any changes.

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