The Indiana Department of Transportation is warning motorists it will close parts of Interstate 65 and I-70 in Indianapolis beginning this week to complete work delayed by recent rains.
One of the bills would restrict changes that could be made to the Interstate 65/Interstate 70 inner loop around downtown. Another would remove the ban on light-rail projects in Indianapolis.
The two federal grants are to be used to increase the capacity of sections of Interstate 65 in south central and north central Indiana.
Podcast host Mason King talks with Rethink 65/70 member Paul Knapp, the CEO of Young & Laramore, about the group’s plan to put parts of the highway below grade. Then he talks with INDOT spokesman Scott Manning and HNTB’s Kia Gillette about whether the state will consider Rethink’s ideas.
Downtown community groups and neighbors fought the state’s original plan that called for road widening, saying the interstates would encroach even farther into residential areas.
The project will close both directions of Interstate 65 between the Meridian Street and 21st Street exits starting next week.
Some residents say a newly released Indiana Department of Transportation traffic analysis doesn’t address the issue they’re most concerned about—the quality-of-life impact that interstates 65 and 70 have on their downtown neighborhoods.
INDOT says it hasn’t chosen a course of action yet, but the study strongly indicates some of the options proposed by opponents of its original plans are not feasible.
Officials say the new lanes be built in the highway’s median, which means no additional land purchases are needed.
Traffic downtown and the northwest side will be affected by the closures, which are expected to last about 35 days in late spring.
Mayor Joe Hogsett is echoing the chorus of community leaders and downtown residents expressing concern with the state’s $250 million plan to revamp the I-70/I-65 interchange.
The chamber and other coalition members favor options for the interstate project that would be more neighborhood-friendly.
As INDOT moves forward with plans for a major I-65/I-70 construction project, a coalition of residents with concerns about the impact on surrounding neighborhoods is also gaining steam.
State officials say the interchange on the northeast outskirts of downtown is 50 years old and reaching the end of its useful life. But project details are still fuzzy.
If approved, the plan would not require any future vote on tollways by lawmakers once a specific tolling plan is in place. Instead, it would leave that up to the discretion of the governor.
Transportation officials say a highway construction project south of Indianapolis is winding down just as another massive project north of the city is beginning.
INDOT has agreed to pay to make changes to an environmental impact statement to try to revive the proposed Illiana Expressway toll road project linking northern Illinois and northwest Indiana.
Indiana highway officials have refused a $1.4 million bill from a construction company for repairing an Interstate 65 bridge that experienced a month-long emergency closure last summer.
Indiana House Republicans are tying Gov. Mike Pence’s extra Regional Cities funding to the bill, along with a 13th check for pensioners.
The $70 million project will add the additional lanes for more than 10 miles from near U.S. 30 in Merrillville to at least the Indiana 2 interchange near the Lake County town of Lowell.