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Construction project planned to limit left turns to improve safety in Franklin

The project in Franklin along U.S. 31 will take 4 years to complete
Posted at 12:49 PM, Mar 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-22 12:49:18-04

FRANKLIN — Traffic along U.S. 31 in Franklin in Johnson County will remain the same until construction begins next spring when upgrades will be made including the addition of new traffic signals, sidewalks and limited left turns in Franklin.

Jim Myrick owns Bud in Bloom in Franklin. It sits south of Franklin Community Middle School along U.S. 31. He's been in business for 46 years of which the past 34 years have been in Franklin.

He'd like to see a detailed timeline of how the project will roll out.

"I'm fortunate. I can have people call in, use the internet, that type of thing," Myrick said. "I'm not affected like a bowling alley, or a drive in restaurant would be."

The proposed INDOT project which could cost up to $55 million will cover 5.6 miles within the Franklin city limits from South Main Street to north of Israel Lane.

All current left turning medians like the ones in front of Franklin Community Middle School will be removed.

INDOT says the current system is prone to cause accidents and is not safe.

On many streets spilling onto U-S 31, a left turn will not be an option. You will need to use a "J turn” to go in the direction that will take you to your destination.

INDOT believes this will improve safety and traffic flow well beyond 2043.

"The big box culvert that will go underneath US 31 will help with some of the flooding that goes on the north end of town. So there's a lot of positives, very few negatives. The biggest negative is change and people have hard time accepting change," said Franklin Mayor Steve Barnett.

As for Jim, he's focused on his deliveries, not a future of dirt moving equipment, detours and dramatic driving changes.

"Will have to make due. We will make it work," Myrick said.

Construction is set to begin in spring 2024 with worked being phased in from the south to north.

During the work, one lane will be open in each direction at all times.