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Contractor paying for fixes to US 31 section

– A contractor has started replacing several sections of new concrete in a section of U.S. 31 where a major upgrade is underway just north of Indianapolis.

The repairs are being made in a section of the highway in Carmel that was widened last year as part of the project to upgrade the highway to interstate standards from Interstate 465 north through much of Hamilton County, the Indianapolis Star reported.

The contractor is responsible for covering the costs of the repairs, said Nathan Riggs, an Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman.

“INDOT inspectors noticed areas showing premature problems, such as surface cracks, and the contractor agreed to replace the pavement,” Riggs said. “Essentially this is a quality-control measure.”

The work included cutting out and replacing eight 18- by 12-foot concrete panels in a section of the highway about 5 miles north of I-465.

The project building new lanes, several interchanges and bridges between I-465 and Indiana 38 north of Westfield is expected to cost between $400 million and $435 million and is being completed in phases over the next few years.

It is part of a $1.2 billion reconstruction project for the highway linking Indianapolis and South Bend, which includes a new roadway being built between South Bend and Plymouth and a new bypass around Kokomo.

Riggs said the concrete section being replaced in Carmel appeared to pass muster at first.