Building demolition to begin along Interstate 69

July 19, 2010

The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to accept demolition contract proposals Aug. 4 for the first building in the way of Interstate 69 expansion just north of I-465 on the northeast side of Indianapolis.

The former, 8,407-square-foot headquarters of August Mack Environmental, at 8007 Castleton Road, is set to be demolished by the end of October.

August Mack moved to a new home at 1200 N. Meridian St. about two years ago. The company's doomed former office complex, now sprouting weeds, is already precariously close to the southbound lanes of I-69.

Another 14,383 square feet of former August Mack parking lots are also to be erased to make room for a widened I-69 and a dramatically reconfigured interchange at I-465. Blueprints show that a new ramp to westbound I-465 will be built atop the doomed property.

“This is an early-acquisition property,” said Will Wingfield, an INDOT spokesman, saying the property became available about a year ago.

Three years ago, INDOT moved the historic Whitesell Cemetery, which was just south of the August Mack office, to begin making room for the interstate project.

Construction began in earnest last year on the $567 million project to widen and rebuild eight miles of I-465 and just over two miles of I-69.

According to INDOT, the “most significant impacts” on property will involve work on I-69.  In addition to the old August Mack site are several small buildings and a self-storage facility to be partly or totally demolished. Also potentially affected is a Hampton Inn along the west side of the interstate, just south of 82nd Street.

Just north of the former August Mack site is an office building at 8021 Castleton Road that houses credit union marketing firm iDiz Inc. The company’s CEO, Kent Dicken, said he knows his building is on borrowed time but isn’t sure when it will be needed for the I-69 project, which is still at least three years away. The company has been on a month-to-month lease. “We’re looking to move,” he said.

Already under way is the widening of I-465 and bridge replacement between College Avenue and the White River.

Next year, INDOT plans to rebuild the Keystone Avenue interchange and begin work on I-465 between 75th Street to Fall Creek, including a new 82nd Street bridge over the interstate.

Work on the I-465/I-69 interchange won’t begin until 2014, under current INDOT plans. It “is one of the most frequently traveled [interchanges] in central Indiana, with more than 150,000 vehicles traveling in the area daily,” said INDOT.

Not until 2015 is construction work scheduled for the I-69 portion of the project. However, INDOT has been trying to accelerate some projects amid a slow economy to allow it to strike more favorable terms with hungry contractors and to take advantage of lower construction-materials prices.

INDOT has found ways to minimize commercial dislocation on the I-465 portion of the northeast interstate project.

Two years ago, project maps showed that a number of commercial buildings could have been affected on the eastern edge of I-465, including the offices of WFMS-FM 95.5 and its sister stations. At one point, an INDOT consultant said the radio complex could cost $3.5 million to acquire.

But newer maps of the project show that commercial buildings along the interstate will be saved, except possibly for a Kinder Care center on the northeast corner of I-465 and 75th Street.  Plans call for a wider 75th Street bridge over the interstate in that area.


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