Friday’s fiery crash in the new, elevated I-69 section between Southport and Wicker roads was a test for years of work zone safety and incident management planning. The I-69 Finish Line project team has been meeting regularly with local officials and emergency response representatives since early in project development to share traffic plans and address any concerns.
According to police, the tanker truck lost a tire, then struck the guardrail and temporary median barriers. These protections minimized the severity of the crash. Contractors working in the area kept traffic away from the fire until first responders arrived, and weekend crews repaired the pavement and cleaned up spilled diesel fuel.
The project team and first responders also coordinate on transporting injured motorists and reopening the road as quickly as possible. With the new interstate highway and its construction, there are limited points where traffic can enter and exit. Police may need to divert traffic onto a suitable alternate route upstream from the incident.
Drivers should expect lane closures near the crash site this week for guardrail repairs. The pavement will be smoothed over later in construction when the final layer of pavement is added through the entire area.
- Demolition crews removed the Mann Road bridge over I-465 last week for replacement. The I-465 exit ramp remains open to one-way traffic turning north onto Mann Road, with the traffic signal temporarily replaced with a yield sign. Click here for a map of access routes.
- Expect ongoing nighttime lane closures for bridgework and median barrier removal along I-465 between S.R. 67/Kentucky Avenue and Keystone Avenue.
- Utility crews are installing new lines near the Belmont and Epler Avenue intersection to clear the way for construction. Belmont is closed except for local traffic south of Epler Avenue. Expect a full closure of Belmont and Epler avenues west of S.R. 37 in July to build the future I-69 interchange. Click here for a map of the closure locations.
- The new Bluffdale Drive extension is expected to open late this week or early next week, providing access west of S.R. 37 from Fairview Road to Smith Valley Road. A small section is already open for Knights Drive traffic.
- Smith Valley Road is expected to close west of S.R. 37 shortly after the new Bluffdale Road section opens. Smith Valley Road will remain open east of S.R. 37 at the traffic signal. Click here for a side-by-side map of the current and future traffic patterns.
- Bridge crews poured the concrete deck late last week for the S.R. 144 bridge over future I-69. Expect County Road 144 to close east of S.R. 37 later this summer to replace a drainage structure.
- S.R. 252 and Cramertown Loop are expected to reopen today at a new roundabout, just east of I-69. Watch for daytime flaggers as crews are putting the finishing touches on the area. Ongoing work in this area for the next few weeks includes bridge beam painting, multi-use path installation, final paving and striping work.
- Watch for changing traffic patterns on I-69 and S.R. 37 this week. Daytime crews are installing permanent pavement markings north of Martinsville as weather allows and bridgework near Teeters Road may require lane closures.
- Nighttime crews will be paving at the S.R. 39/Morton Avenue ramps and roundabouts and at the south end of the project this week near Indian Creek.
The actual starting date and duration for work and any closures may be adjusted if inclement weather or other unforeseen activities occur.