State Road 37 to close for I-69 project

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MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Some major traffic changes coming this weekend for people in Evansville traveling to and from Indianapolis. The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to close a five-mile section of State Road 37 in Martinsville to make way for the final leg of the interstate 69 project, but detour may last for a year.

“It’s not safe. It’s not smart. I don’t know if they’ve truly driven through here and looked at the area,” said Kacy White, a Martinsville resident.

That’s how people in Martinsville are feeling. And they’ll be dealing with major construction and the detour through all of 2021.

“There’ll be some headaches along the way but I think the long term gains will outweigh those,” said Natalie Garrett, INDOT spokesperson.

But White said this closure impacts her daily life. She says a day on the job delivering food to those around her will be impacted. Leaving her unsure of what obstacles she’ll be battling with State Road 37 shut down in the area.

“It’s just inconceivable that this would happen. It would be different if there were so many alternative routes that were safe and there’s not,” White said.

And she’s not the only one looking at different ways to get around the area.

The goal of this leg of the project is reaching the I-69 finish line, which will help those traveling to Indianapolis from Evansville, a trip that has already been whittled down to about two and a half hours.

“They’ll basically rebuild the lanes of what was 37 and upgrade them to interstate standards to create I-69 here in Martinsville,” said Garrett.

The target to reach Indianapolis is still a few years away as construction of a major interchange at 465 is still being planned.

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(This story was originally published on December 29, 2020)

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