INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Michigan Street ramp in the North Split will reopen Monday, perhaps cutting a few minutes off the time motorists spend getting to downtown Indianapolis.
Portions of the North Split interchange had been built 50 years ago and an estimated 214,000 motorists used it daily before the reconstruction project began earlier this year.
“We’re just looking forward to get done and the flow of traffic to start moving,” said Lou Stanley, co-owner of the Blum Building near the Michigan Street ramp.
“It’ll no doubt be a huge day on Monday when they open up,” said Corey Babb, co-owner of the Blum Building.
The new ramp is the first part of the North Split project to be finished. Crews put down new ramp pavement and reconstructed the St. Clair Street overpass that’s one of 50 overpasses in the North Split interchange. The new overpass is higher.
“We are completely on schedule right now. We are moving forward,” said Mallory Duncan, communications director for the Indiana Department of Transportation.
On May 15, crews shut down the state’s second-busiest interchange for the massive overhaul project that is expected to last until fall 2022. With the opening of the new ramp to Michigan Street, INDOT says, drivers can take both the exits onto Michigan and Ohio streets to get into downtown.
“So, if you were going south to Ohio, you don’t have to do that anymore. You can come to Michigan. It may shave off a couple of minutes of commute. If you’re taking the kids to school or whatever, it might be a little faster for you,” Duncan said.
Some business owners say they’re excited that the ramp is reopening. “The new ramp will help with traffic flow because, as Bottleworks comes and our building opening up, we’re seeing a lot more traffic and the sooner we can open, the more flow we can get and the better it is for the city,” Stanley said.
“Obviously, it’s been very noisy, but that’s part of it. You’re not building new ramps and knocking down bridges without causing noise, but they’re just out here doing their job. They’ve been working around the clock since April, and it’s going to bring significant value to the city,” Babb said.