An Indiana Department of Transportation employee answers residents questions about the U.S. 31 sidewalk project Tuesday at the Southport branch of the Indianapolis Public Library. Noah Crenshaw | Daily Journal

INDIANAPOLIS — New sidewalks, curb ramps and pedestrian crosswalks are coming to both sides of U.S. 31 on the southside.

The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to install 6-foot-wide, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalks and curb ramps on both sides of U.S. 31. from County Line Road in Greenwood to Thompson Road in Indianapolis. The $11.9 million project, which will not start construction for another two years, also includes minor drainage improvements and a signal improvement at U.S. 31 and Shelby Street.

Officials from INDOT, along with the Lochmueller Group, a contractor working with INDOT on the project, held a public information meeting about the project Tuesday evening at the Southport branch of the Indianapolis Public Library. About 20 to 30 members of the public attended to learn more about the project and see how the work would impact them.

One of the purposes of the project is to improve pedestrian facilities along the road, which currently lacks non-motorized access to adjacent commercial, educational, medical and public-use facilities. More than 95% of the U.S. 31 corridor in the project area does not have sidewalks. Additionally, there’s a large proportion of residents who do not own vehicles, according to the presentation at the meeting.

“We recognize that a lot of folks are walking in the grass, they’re walking in the street, and that’s a huge safety issue,” said Nicole Minton, public outreach manager for the Lochmueller Group.

Some of the sidewalks will feature a curb between it and the adjacent non-roadway property, while others will feature a small retaining wall, plans show.

About nine new crosswalks will be added for streets that cross or connect to U.S. 31, including County Line, Stop 12, Stop 11, Southport, Banta and Thompson roads; Edgewood and Epler Avenues; and Shelby Street. These crosswalks will have push buttons and improved striping for crosswalk areas, Minton said.

The project will also improve connections to IndyGo, which has 25 bus stops along the project area. Only one of the bus stops has sidewalk access and only one location is ADA compliant, the presentation said.

Currently, most of the buses have to stop and temporarily block the far right lane to pick up passengers. With the project, bump-outs will be added at bus stops.

The project will also improve traffic signals and add safety features to minimize injuries and property damage. The Shelby Street intersection is an example of one of the areas seeing signal improvements.

Plans for the Shelby Street intersection are still in flux, Minton said. However, they do show a pedestrian island being installed on the northside of Shelby Street at the intersection, along with improved signal heads — the visual display component of the signal system.

While the project is designed to primarily help pedestrians and improve their safety, it also addresses drivers’ concerns. There are concerns for drivers having to navigate around people who are walking on the road, for example, Minton said.

“It’s also about keeping them safe so that if they were to swerve around a pedestrian and strike another car across a median, there’s a danger to them as well as drivers and not just for the people that will be walking on the sidewalks,” she said. “We’re also particularly interested in creating safer environments for those people using IndyGo buses and public transportation that right now they don’t have a safe place to wait for the bus and this will provide some of that for them.”

The project is currently in the preliminary design process, which includes environmental investigations. This phase will last for about six months before the final design and right‐of‐way acquisition process begins, officials said.

Very little right of way is expected to be purchased by INDOT, Minton said.

Construction is scheduled to start in the summer of 2026, with it finished by 2027. Temporary lane closures will take place during construction, but Minton says drivers shouldn’t expect to see the entire length of the project closed down at one time. It will be a rolling project, and crews will work on one side of the street until completion before moving to the other side.

More information about the project, along with how to give feedback can be found online at and clicking on the “U.S. 31 Sidewalk Project from County Line Road to Thompson Road” link under projects. The deadline for public comments is July 23.