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‘Revive I-70’ to improve 20+ miles of interstate in Wayne County

Improving I-70 In Wayne County

RICHMOND, Ind. (WISH) — The drive between Indianapolis and Richmond makes it clear the I-70 is an old interstate in need of repairs.

A redesign to bring one of the more heavily used corridors in Indiana up to modern design and safety standards is underway.

“Revive I-70” in Wayne County will improve over 20 miles of road from Richmond to west of State Route 1. The project is broken into three contracts to help ease construction congestion in smaller areas.

The project focuses on four factors: lane expansion, bridge repairs, expansions and replacements, interchange updates, and replacing the pavement.

Officials with “Revive I-70” said a new lane is only guaranteed in the area covered by the first contract between the Ohio state line and just west of U.S. 35. Project managers are still considering the needs for the other areas.

The Contract Two area extends from west of State Route 1 to west of Centerville. The project will then come back to the middle of the corridor to complete Contract Three, which runs from west of Centerville to U.S. 35.

INDOT contracted the “Revive I-70” project to an outside management group: Parsons Corporation. Mindy Peterson, a spokesperson for “Revive I-70,” said the group has not picked a construction bid to do the work yet.

“You might get stuck, you’re behind a truck in the left lane, you’re behind a truck in the right lane,” Peterson said. “There are not a lot of options so one of the things that we’re talking about doing for Revive I-70 is adding some capacity.”

“We have some bridge replacements, we have some that are getting new decks, all of those bridges that carry I-70 traffic will be widened,” Peterson said.

A handful of people spoke at the public meeting and raised their concerns over the project design, including a requested safety measure.

Ken Stapleton lives directly off of I-70 and shared concerning incidents in the neighborhood due to car and truck crashes on the highway throwing pieces of material into his yard.

“We would like to get some kind of concrete barriers so when these trucks collide [it blocks the debris from flying.] One semi hits the other in the back and stuff went flying,” Stapleton said. “There’s a lot of kids playing on that street, this is a cul-de-sac.”

Interchange designs will get a big improvement as well. The I-70 and U.S. 40 interchange will be completely overhauled, while the I-70 and U.S. 35 interchange will have smaller changes.

“If you look at the interchange today, it’s not even up to current design standards, and we are going in and making improvements,” Peterson said.

So far, the price is yet to be determined. Project managers said they will know the cost for Contract One in February and Contract Two in late September.

The “Revive I-70” team said they plan to start construction on Contract One at the end of 2024.