An announcement on Wednesday that the new U.S. 421 bridge access route — the Project 421 Madison Gateway — will be opened to traffic as early as Monday morning was premature.

According to Madison Mayor Bob Courtney, Project Manager Kyle Beaty of Beaty Construction Inc., updated the city Friday that the road now won’t be ready for traffic until Thursday, June 18.

Speaking at last week’s Stellar Executive Team Meeting at City Hall, Courtney said the overall project is still some three to four months from completion but both the contractor and the Indiana Department of Transportation had said the new access road from Harrison Street coming off the Milton-Madison Bridge to Main Street was ready to accept traffic.

As it turned out the pavement is ready but enough side work, wall work and striping remain that the contractor will need until later next week to be ready for traffic by working this weekend.

Workers completed paving on the new section of roadway this week but still have several projects to finish before opening it to traffic. Courtney said Beaty Construction Inc. expects to finish that work and have the road ready for a June 18 opening.

Although next week’s opening will mark only a partial completion of the overall project, Courtney thinks the significance warrants celebration.

“I think it’s worth celebrating the opening of the new road,” Courtney said.

A ribbon cutting will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday with Ginny Welch — wife of former Mayor Damon Welch, who secured the project during his administration but died unexpectedly last summer before seeing it completed — and her family given the honor of making the first trip over the new road.

The ceremony will take place just north of the intersection of Harrison and East Second streets and Courtney and former mayors Tim Armstrong and Al Huntington will give remarks before following the Welch family in the second vehicle over the new roadway.

Beaty Construction is continuing operations in the area to complete pedestrian bridge construction, water main, curb and gutter work, storm water placement and sidewalk construction.

Traffic will be impacted or continue to be impacted in several areas next week, including:

• Baltimore Street will be closed north and south of Main Street

• St. Michael’s Avenue will be closed south of Main Street with local traffic only via East Street and Second Street

• A barrier wall will be installed across Second Street to close the road between Clay and Harrison streets for water main work

• Fillmore Street will remain closed for pedestrian bridge construction

• First Street will remain closed for drive, curb and gutter work

• Neither the Hillside Inn nor Roosevelt Street will be accessible from Main Street until end of construction

Motorists are reminded to slow down, use extra caution and drive distraction-free through all work zones.

The project is scheduled to wrap up in either late September or early October. However, INDOT will transfer control — and maintenance — of State Road 56 through downtown Madison to the top of Hanover Hill on July 1, as part of the overall agreement to land what will end up being about a $15.1 million investment.