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Draft report eyes more construction to modernize I-65, I-70 in Indianapolis

Study eyes more construction to modernize I-65, I-70 in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — “ProPEL Indy” is a two-year “planning and environment linkages” study leading up to the projects Indiana Department of Transportation will roll out over the next couple of decades to modernize I-65 and I-70 inside the I-465 loop.

INDOT is still in the early stages of the study and has only released the draft of the Purpose and Need Report, which gathers necessary data that will inform the coming projects.

The draft report does not provide solutions to most problems but rather presents the data so INDOT can start to create project plans. The work that comes from this study could start over the next five to 20 years.

The draft report lays out a rough timeline of when sections of I-65 and I-70 need to be repaved and when bridges along these routes will need to be fixed.

“In this instance, we don’t have a certain project or a list of projects,” said Natalie Garrett, strategic communications director of INDOT. “We’re engaging the public earlier in the planning process to hear what they need, what they want, what concerns they have, and then looking at those different alternatives on how we can address them.”

Garrett says a lot of the work that needs to be done on these bridges and roads comes at the end of the service life of the infrastructure. “The infrastructure on these sections of 65 and 70 were built 40, 45 years ago, just like with your car your home it ages over time.”

The draft report gathered data on high crash areas and congestion now, and projected into the future. Study recommendations will come next spring.

“Improvements, rehabilitation, restoration, as the infrastructure nears the end of its service life,” Garrett said.

The draft report considers more than 1,100 comments. The statements helped INDOT collect relevant data for the project.

The public can continue to give feedback to INDOT for the Purpose and Need Report through June 30.