Construction begins on aging I-65 ramp downtown

A temporary shutdown of the northbound Interstate 65 ramp to westbound Interstate 70 will begin Wednesday so workers can rehabilitate two ramp bridges that are more than 40 years old.

The ramp will be closed for roughly two months. Construction will include repairing the ramp bridges over Morris and Prospect streets. The top ramp bridge over southbound I-65 and east and westbound I-70 also will get a facelift.

The ramp is expected to reopen by the end of July. While closed, contractors will be rehabilitating and improving ramp conditions by:

–Rebuilding concrete bridge decks to ensure a smoother ride, while preventing future potholes and cracks.

–Replacing existing pin joints and adding more splices to connect bridge beams across long spans.

–Rebuilding the bridge abutments that support the bridge decks on each end.

INDOT officials opted to close the ramps instead of leaving a single lane open because it's safer for motorists and workers. INDOT traffic engineers also said that maintaining a single lane of traffic would create backups for miles.

“This is not a complete rebuild of the bridge, it’s a rehabilitation, but where we can, we’re integrating those elements to make the bridge more durable and more reliable over the long term,” INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield said.

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