Special Report: Getting rid of red

Published: Nov. 3, 2017 at 8:17 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 13, 2017 at 4:20 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - If time is money, then city planners and the Indiana Department of Transportation are working to save you a little of both.

There's a first of its kind study underway that will look to relieve congestion along two important corridors, Highway 41 and the Lloyd Expressway.

When the long-range work is done, you'll be able to drive from Posey County to Warrick County, stoplight-free.

"I will willingly spend more in gasoline and fuel expenses to avoid the Lloyd and 41/Fielding and all those clogged areas to get to someone's house faster," said Dan Freeman with GR Freeman Heating and Air. 

Getting across town quickly isn't just critical for service-providers, the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce says it's critical for all business and for quality of life.

For the first time, the chamber added language to its 2018 legislative agenda, supporting projects like the removal of stoplights along the Lloyd.

"I would be kidding myself if I thought next year we'd be talking about driving from Posey to Warrick and never stopping, but you gotta start somewhere," said Justin Groenert of the Southwest Indiana Chamber.

That somewhere is a joint study, funded 80% by the Evansville Metropolitan Planning Organization and 20% by INDOT that started five months ago.

MPO Executive Director Seyed Shokouhzadeh says, with help from a consultant, an INDOT team is looking at every intersection along the 41 corridor from I-64 to Walnut, and 66/Lloyd Expressway from Posey County Line Road to 261.

He called them "pioneers" for the way they are using sophisticated tools and models to simulate unique fixes for problems at each junction.

They are designing ways to keep cars moving, while trying not to interfere with existing businesses along the 41 and Lloyd corridors.

Their process is a first in Indiana.

"We are very excited about this project. I think it's going to come up with really interesting and exciting solutions to the problems that we don't normally see in this part of the state," said Shokouhzadeh." 

Of course, it's going to take some time to save technicians like Freeman time on the roadways.

The project is laid out in two plans: a five year and a 20 year plan. Work wouldn't start all at once.

Shokouhzade says work typically starts at the junctions that will alleviate the most congestion, first, and only as funding becomes available.

Still, it's the kind of news business owners like to hear.

"Anytime you want to start a project to expedite traffic in and out of Evansville, to get everyone to their jobs faster, it's a great time to do it," said Freeman.

The MPO says INDOT is done collecting data on existing problems along those two corridors.

They're now running the models and simulations at each of the intersections.

We could get a first look at the renderings as early as next summer.

Copyright 2017 WFIE. All rights reserved.