MARTINSVILLE — Andy Dietrick knew people were concerned about funneling Ind. 39 from four lanes down to two in Martinsville. The Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman acknowledged this would be a choke point, but said models showed that with appropriately timed signals, traffic would get through.

Dallas Collins wasn’t buying it.

“The modeling shows it works,” he said skeptically. “Yeah, but it might be 30 or 45 minutes before you get through.”

Collins was one of about 50 people who showed up to a public information meeting Monday evening at the South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Cooperative community room. Department of transportation employees shared plans for an Ind. 39 improvement project.

The department of transportation had been planning to repair the section of Ind. 39 that runs through Martinsville for some time. It’s part of the route that connects Ind. 37 to Ind. 67. The project has been expanded because that portion of Ind. 39 will serve as the official detour for Ind. 37 in 2021.

About five miles of Ind. 37 will be closed between the Ind. 39 exit and Morgan Street in 2021 while work is done to upgrade the road as part of the Interstate 69 Section 6 project.

To handle the increased traffic on Ind. 39 during the yearlong closure, Ind. 39 will be resurfaced and reconfigured in Martinsville. It will be two lanes in both directions from Plaza Drive to the railroad tracks near Mitchell Avenue.

© 2019 HeraldTimesOnline, Bloomington, IN