INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The state’s second-busiest interchange is scheduled to close Saturday to drivers in preparation for an 18-month project.
“We’re knocking down these bridges, rebuilding them, and so the infrastructure will be completely brand new,” Indiana Department of Transportation spokesperson Mallory Duncan said.
The North Split Interchange project is expected to close I-65 and I-70 between the North Split and Washington Street.
“If you don’t have to go downtown, we ask that you use our detour route, which is 465 all the way around,” Duncan said.
Its goal is to rebuild old roads and bridges. It’ll also improve its design.
“We see a lot of that congestion that leads to pretty dangerous crashes and situations,” Duncan said.
INDOT adds the I-65/I-70 North Split Interchange was built nearly 50 years ago and is now at the end of its useful life. Some people say this change is needed.
“It’ll be great for the city overall,” Elite Back and Body owner Caleb Boucher said. “It’ll be an adjustment period for the next 18 months. Once the construction is done, hopefully it’ll help the flow of traffic in that area.”
Drivers will still be able to drive in and out of downtown using the westbound I-70 exit ramp to Michigan or Ohio Street. INDOT says even though thousands of drivers will be impacted by the construction, business entrances won’t be blocked. Boucher says he’s making sure his clients get adjusted.
“The 18 months will be difficult at first, but I’ll make sure I let my patients know ahead of time that there’s going to be a closure so that they can reroute their direction here,” Boucher said.
He believes the flow of traffic might even bring business.
“People see the logo all the time and they call in,” Boucher said. “They didn’t realize that we were here, that we were a local chiropractor,” Boucher said. “So it could really help drive business a little bit.”
Some do have concerns.
“I also bike out of the downtown and so I’m sure that with some of this construction going on, shutting down some of these other roads there’s going to be more cars to worry about,” Robert Oehler, an Indianapolis resident, said.
Construction is expected to wrap up by fall of 2022. People are encouraged to visit the North Split project webpage for more information.