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INDOT seeks remedy for S.R. 111

INDOT seeks remedy for S.R. 111
INDOT seeks remedy for S.R. 111
Employees with the Indiana Dept. of Transportation inspect a section of S.R. 111 just north of the Harrison-Floyd County line last Wednesday morning where the highway is giving way to the bank of the Ohio River. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor

Vehicular traffic along S.R. 111 near the Harrison-Floyd County line was forced to one lane last Wednesday while a crew from the Indiana Dept. of Transportation inspected a section of the highway where the asphalt is sinking below the road grade in places and cracking in other spots.
Harrison County Commissioner Jim Klinstiver said one section of the road has settled a foot since the beginning of the month.
The supports for the guardrail in that section are coming out of the ground, too.
Klinstiver, who retired from INDOT after 42 years of service, blames it on the Ohio River, which was up to the roadway for two to three weeks in January and February due to flooding, he said.
Then, when the dams are opened downstream, he said the water goes out fast, taking the sandy soil along the riverbank with it.
Tony McClellan, INDOT’s Seymour District deputy commissioner, was at the site last Wednesday.
‘We’ve been trying to repair the slide,’ he said. ‘We’re hoping to do a more permanent repair.’
McClellan estimated about a half-mile section of S.R. 111, stretching from just north of Horseshoe Southern Indiana into Floyd County, needs attention.
While crews were working, flaggers controlled both north- and southbound traffic in one lane.
McClellan said they were trying not to close the highway while repairs are made; however, he said they may need to temporarily shift the traffic to the west by using the southbound shoulder.
‘We may need to drop the speed limit, put out signs and warn of narrow lane widths,’ he said. ‘But, hopefully, we won’t have to close it. It’s a busy road, so we have to be safe first.’
The speed has since been reduced to 35 mph.
Klinstiver, whose District 3 encompasses the southern third of Harrison County, said ‘no less than 4,000’ vehicles use S.R. 111 on a daily basis, estimating about 2,500 of those are Harrison Countians traveling to and from work outside of the county.
An alternate route for them would be S.R. 11, which would add at least 10 minutes to their drive time, Klinstiver said, because it is ‘so crooked and hilly and more dangerous’ than S.R. 111.
In a press release Thursday, INDOT said it will monitor the site on a daily basis until corrections to the slide can be made.
‘Motorists continue to have two-way access on 10-foot lanes on the west side of the highway,’ the press release said. ‘Should the slide continue to migrate, further restrictions will be required.’
INDOT officials said geostabilization engineers performed cone penetromenter tests last Wednesday for soil analysis to determine dense sand and bedrock depths. Comprehensive analyses were expected to be performed this week in order to develop an engineering design for the slide correction.
McClellan said he hopes a contractor can be hired to begin work by mid- to late-August.
‘It’s been a very wet summer,’ he said. ‘It’s causing problems everywhere.’