(HAMILTON COUNTY) - A major road construction project could slow down drivers starting next week.
Workers will start making improvements at Exit 5 on Interstate 69, where drivers connect to 116th Street and State Road 37.
Drivers are well aware of the back-ups on I-69 during rush hour.
"I've sat in the traffic," says Jerilyn Tucker, who drives the route everyday. "From here at 116th, down to 96th, is horrible."
"It is a hot mess, honestly," adds Crispin Gunn.
Starting next week, that "mess" is going to have to get worse before it gets better.
"I think with any construction zone, you're going to have inconveniences to drivers," said Nathan Riggs with INDOT.
Those inconveniences will start small with nighttime lane restrictions between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. the next morning.
"It will just be right lane restrictions in between the loop ramp and State Road 37, in between that interchange area. The right shoulder on that collector, 116th to 69, and then also on the State Road 37 fly over, there will be some right lane restrictions," said Riggs.
The 24-hour work will start this summer, when I-69 will go down to just two lanes in both directions at the Exit 5 interchange.
"I'm not looking forward to it at all," said Gunn.
"There's really no way to make these improvements without having some sort of impact on traffic," said Riggs.
INDOT says congestion will ease up in mid-November, when crews stop work for the winter. But come Spring 2013, work will pick up again.
"You'll see more construction continue next year on the southbound interchange side and on main line 69," Riggs said.
"We'll have to deal with it to make it better," said driver David Cole.
That's the attitude INDOT is hoping most commuters will have over the next two years.
"They can either keep stomaching the back-ups, especially during the peak traffic periods everyday or maybe take a little bit more congestion for a short amount of time to really help things out," said Riggs.
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