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(INDIANAPOLIS) – $10 million in federal road money is the final piece in the funding puzzle to make it easier to get from Greenwood to Indy.

Indianapolis will widen Emerson Avenue from two lanes to four, from the Johnson County line to Southport Road. Public works director Dan Parker says the three-mile stretch of road was the city’s top priority in seeking its share of federal money allocated to the eight-county Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Parker says widening projects usually aren’t the city’s focus in applying for federal funds. But Franciscan Health is on Emerson, which moves the road up the priority list. And Parker says there are frequent bottlenecks as cars exit I-65 at County Line Road or Southport Road.

Money for the northern half of the widening was approved last year. Indy will have to come up with one-fifth of the cost of the southern half, about $2.5 million.

Construction is still four or five years away. Now that the money’s been approved, Indy needs to design the project and acquire the land.

Indy received an additional $10 million for 10 other projects, including repairs to four bridges and the city’s Knozone Awareness Program, which encourages people to time car trips and lawn mowing to keep the city below safety thresholds for carbon emissions.

(Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)