The two-year Restore 94 project that's snarled traffic on Interstate 94 this construction season is reaching its final stages as winter approaches.
A significant portion of the work will wrap up Wednesday, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation. Concrete patching near the Illinois state line will extend beyond that, and work on the busy stretch from Kennedy Avenue to Interstate 65 will continue into mid-December.
"Assuming weather cooperates, traffic should be back in its normal configuration by that time," said Doug Moats, media relations director for INDOT's Northwest District.
The $45 million project included paving from Illinois to Michigan.
Permanent pavement markings will need to be done next spring, but can largely be done at night. And, "there will be no major resurfacing work on I-80/94 next construction season," Moats said.
Work will continue through December on U.S. 30 in west Lake County, and on Broadway, he said. Milling and paving on Broadway between 61st Avenue and I-94 will pick up again in April and is expected to be completed by June.
The most significant interstate work will be on I-65, from Merrillville to Lowell, where the project to add a lane in each direction is scheduled to run through fall 2018. The $62 million project also includes new bridges over the Kankakee River.
Work this season will have an impact on traffic patterns in the area between U.S. 231 in Crown Point and Ind. 2 near Lowell. On I-65, traffic will shift toward the inside shoulder to accomodate 8-foot outer shoulders.
And, traffic on U.S. 231 and Ind. 2 at the interstate interchanges will remain one lane in each direction during the winter.
Next year also will see an increased level of activity resulting from funding provided by new gas tax and other fee-based revenue. A total of 57 projects in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties are included in the state's Next Level infrastructure plan for 2018.
These include a significant amount of work on bridges, particularly in Lake County, including: replacement of I-65 bridges over Central Avenue and Conrail railroad tracks for an estimated $7.8 million; 101st Avenue bridge replacement over I-65, $2.5 million; Ind. 51 bridge replacement over Burns Ditch (Deep River), $4.7 million; and U.S. 41 deck replacement and the painting of bridges over the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad and four streets, and over Norfolk Southern Railroad and 236th Avenue, $3.8 million.
In Porter County, bridge work is planned to include deck replacement on the U.S. 20 bridge over CSX Railroad west of Ind. 249, $3 million. The biggest ticket item is at U.S. 30 and Washington Street, where intersection improvements will cost an estimated $15 million.
The largest projects in LaPorte County, and some of the largest in the other two, are paving. Among the paving projects, with estimated cost, on the Next Level list and INDOT's contract lettings list for 2018 are:
Ind. 51 from U.S. 30 in Hobart to U.S. 20 in Gary, $5 million
U.S. 41 from 135th Avenue in Cedar Lake to Ind. 2 west of Lowell, $3.1 million
U.S. 41 from I-80/94 to I-90, $2.8 million
U.S. 231 from Main Street in Crown Point to U.S. 41 in St. John, $1.7 million
U.S. 12 from Schrage Avenue to Columbus Drive, $2.1 million
Ind. 249 from U.S. 20 to U.S. 12, $1.1 million
U.S. 231 from DeMotte to Ind. 2, $1.2 million
U.S. 12 from Burns Harbor Ditch to Oak Hill Road, $2 million
U.S. 6 from Ind. 49 to Ind. 39, $4.8 million
U.S. 20 from LaPorte/Porter county line to U.S. 421, $2.6 million
U.S. 20 from Ind. 212 to Ind. 2, $12.9 million
Ind. 2 from east of Ind. 4 in LaPorte to U.S. 20, $9.1 million
U.S. 421 from Ind. 10 to U.S. 30, $3.9 million