Highway project could swallow hotel

October 15, 2007
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Suburban HotelA $600-million plan to revamp interstates 465 and 69 on the northeast side could have a major impact on buildings near the highways. Several properties, including a couple of office buildings, some self-storage units and a few residential units, are slated for "relocation" in preliminary Department of Transportation plans. But the most drastic example is a new Suburban Extended Stay Hotel (pictured here) now under construction on Bash Street south of 82nd Street, within shouting distance of I-69 South. The hotel is listed as a "potential relocation" in the plans, and it hasn't even opened. Poor planning? Read Chris O'Malley's story.
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  • Well, since the road project won't even start for another 5 years at least they may still be able to have the hotel operating for 5-7 years or so. This could still make it worth continuing construction especially if it's nearly completed. Yeah it was kind of poor planning though.
  • I'm not sure who I'd blame there. The developer of the hotel must surely have known that the I-69/I-465 interchange was the most overcongested in the city and scheduled for a redesign. Yet the redesign has been necessary for a long time, long before construction started on that hotel. The state could have bought or eminent domained that land while it was still vacant for the obvious future need of a highway redesign. But I guess it is too must wishful thinking to expect the state to plan that far in advance. Their design will barely accomodate current traffic as it stands. Still, interstate upgrade wins out over box hotel, so if that hotel is in the way its gonna have to go.
  • Many buildings have been built too close to I-465 IMO.

    This I-465 project has a number of problem, but the key two that need to be fixed are

    o $600 million for one new lane? Doesn't pass the smell test. Because of INDOT's previous short-sightedness, four lanes is the maximum cross section south of I-69, but between I-69 and US 31, I-465 should be five continuous through lanes in each direction.

    o The Keystone Ave. interchange should be a three-level interchange to allow free-flowing traffic on both I-465 and Keystone. Stoplights on Keystone would be wrong given that it is a freeway from the south and will soon be basically a freeway from the north as well.

    For those of you who don't know, INDOT conducted a four year study with Corradino in the mid-90's that was not structured as an EIS, so it didn't count and had to be redone. Next they did an EIS, but then it sat on a shelf. Now we seem to be no closer to starting construction than we were at the beginning.

    While it is justifiable to do I-69 later since clearly I-465 and the interchange there needs to be upgraded first, planning for that upgrade should begin now. Not only is a real powerhouse freeway needed between I-465 and SR 37, but an eight lane cross section is probably needed at least to Exit 10. It is justifiable to six lane I-69 all the way to Exit 26 in Anderson based on traffic volumes today.
  • Indiana has very weak statutory provisions to prohibit development in future highway ROW corridors, or for protective buying, unfortunately.
  • Thanks for the great information, Urbanophile. And good job digging up the I-465/I-69 story.
  • Isn't there some kind of law of physics that says that no matter how many lanes are available, there will still be too much traffic? Why aren't we investing $600 million in alternative solutions to traffic, and letting the congestion work itself out that way?
  • I've been told that traffic projections for every major metro show massive gridlock (even with future improvements) in less than 10 years.

    Anyone have any light to shed on this statement?

    That makes me think that we're way closer to a critical mass demanding cheap, clean alt transit. Let's be real. The powers that be won't do anything about alt transit until there's absolutely high demand and critical need to do so. We, on this blog, can see what's coming. Unfortunately, politicians won't act until the citizenry shows up at the front gates with pitch forks and torches!!!
  • Maybe truckers, the Indiana logistics industry, and the big developers throwing up those giant spec warehouse parks will lobby for mass transit.

    Commuter cars off the road = more room for trucks, less congestion, faster material movement, and better development opportunities.

    Duke, Ameriplex, Langham, Celadon...are you listening?
  • they are doing the 600 million highway project because it's 400 million cheaper than getting mass transit started. the problem is they'll need to spend another 400-600 million a few years after this project is finished, to add more lanes or redesign or they forgot something, lol. personally, i think there should be a limit to how many lanes are built, it may be time to really get serious about putting some trains on the tracks. How much has been spent on that section of highway in the past 20 years, i'll bet it's nowhere near being cost effective.
  • I also think it is time for double decker highways if they aren't going to invest in mass transit, instead of adding just one lane add multiple. We don't have the problem of earthquakes like LA/CA does. And I have been on other interstates where there are Double-Decker highways. Some with multiple directional flow on one level and some with one-floew direction on the upper half and opposite direction on the lower half.

    We have too many people at INDOT who have just worked their way up the ladder that are not qualified, smart, or forward thinking.
  • When are people going to wake up and realize that the days of happy motoring will soon be over? It won't be long before hopping in the car for a long commute to work won't be a viable option for many people. We simply must change the way we go about our daily lives, build our cities and towns, etc. to allow for efficient mass transit or we will simply cease to exist.

    We depend on oil from parts of the world that are increasingly hostile to our interests and are increasing their own consumption (thus cutting back on the amount they can export), so how will we continue on? Ethanol? Please.
  • I say build the hotel over the highway -- good density.
  • Anyone that drives down I-69 at least once a week has known that it would someday need to be widened. I'd guess that anyone doing a survey of such a project would take that into consideration. If they have to tear down the hotel, then so be it.
  • does anybody else appreciate the irony that the day this story was released, the price of oil hit an all-time high?
  • I was just thinking that too, Andy. Just two or three years ago, oil was well under $30 a barrel and anyone who thought it would be north of $50 was certifiable. Now it's over $80, and $100/bbl doesn't seem out of reason. We'd better get ready for gasoline prices well over $3/gal. forever.
  • as painful as the gas prices are, i'm kind of glad that it's happening. it's forcing us as a society to get out of our cars (or suv-buses) and walk/bike/carpool. maybe this will help usher in indianapolis mass transit before i'm dead (31 yrs old and counting).
  • I often comment on unnecessary development in Indianapolis. It's nice to read
    that sentiment echoed in many of the other blog messages here. Widening that
    stretch of road makes no long-term sense. Not only is the initial cost of
    construction astronomical, the cost of maintenance would be very high as well.
    Park your cars. It's time for that occasionally-talked-about mass transportation
    system from Hamilton and outlying counties into Marion county to really happen.
    It's the only win, win, win scenario I can think of.
  • Obviously Forward Thinking is NOT something INDOT practices or is even the least bit familiar with. Take, for example, the I-70 corridor between the airport and downtown, which was re-done a few years ago. I can't believe they didn't add another lane in both directions, when it was completely obvious (to me anyway) that traffic was going to increase given the bigger-n-badder airport terminal which they KNEW was going to happen.

    This issue with the hotel fits nicely with the status quo of INDOT band-aids... Well, let's see here, we got a traffic problem, so let's add a lane 'for now'. INDOT totally fails to see 20 years down the road, which completely baffles me! How can ANYONE who works in a planning job fail at planning so completely?

    It's obvious we need mass transit. The dollar amounts for it... Who's coming up with those numbers? Obviously people who don't want it, cause it seems like every time mass transit is mentioned someone always says it's cost prohibitive. Given the amount of money we all spend involved in owning and maintaining a vehicle, that money could have gone to mass transit. Imagine all the money everyone in the area has spent on car payments, gas, insurance and upkeep on 1 or 2 vehicles, compund that for a year, multiply it by the driving population, and WOW, that could have paid for the system right there (and even have some left over)!
  • Hey CS-

    How about a story and blog post on mass transit options? Indy MPO keeps saying they'll release a plan. CIRTA, the regional transit authority, just hired an executive director...how about an interview with him? Maybe you could solicit questions from your blog readers?
  • You hit it on the head byran! Based on the IBJ graphic, they, the C Group, left out the east bound turn lane to I-465 from north bound Binford, and after all these freakin years, north bound Binford WILL STILL have to go up I-69 to exit on to 82nd...what a waste of energy & time that is!...not to mention a major congestion contributor!!
    ...and yes HMPPeaceHouse understnads it well, INDOT can only plan on the past as opposed to the future!...they don't know what 'vision' means over there!!

    Urbanophile also gets it!...INDOT or the City(s) refuse to turn down zoning request based on future highway projects, unless they are already funded....not a progressive or 'green' philosophy!!

    Bottom line, the cycle will not end, redesign keeps the engineers and other consultants in business, which keeps the contractors in business, which both keep the politicians elected, and then the bureaucrats keep their jobs...and it all keeps mediocrity at it's best!
  • 2012??? In 4 years, the traffic should be even worse up I-69 as development is continuing unabated! Saxony, Fishers/Noblesville, and now all signs are pushing development to Lapel with the proposed regional airport.

    This is the fleecing of America and Central Indiana at its finest! By the time this does get around to being constructed, construction costs should be double what they are now, therefore making this new lane a $1 billion project!

    We could build a very nice light rail/mass transit system that would serve not only the northeast corridor, but also the airport and the southside!!! When will the leaders of this State wake up? WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO BUILD OUR WAY OUT OF TRAFFIC JAMS! A rail system MUST BE BUILT or we are going to continue to throw money down the perverbial drain.

    Before anyone jumps in a says Mass transit systems rarely turn a profit; when was the last time I-465 or I-69 made money for our State? Oh that's right, roads only cost the taxpayers money.

    I know that all of us here agree with the need for mass transit. However, what is it going to take for Joe Citizen to realize that everytime we repave a road, that costs money?
  • www.lightrailnow.org
  • I'll go on merrily living my life inside 465 with my 15-minute drive to work that uses a tank of gas every couple of weeks...and wishing I could afford to live within walking distance.
  • Transportation link:
    http://www.pps.org/info/bulletin/back_to_basics_in_transportation

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