The city of Indianapolis and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) are working closely to prepare for the upcoming 59-day closure of I-65/I-70 between the north and south split scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 3.
INDOT is coordinating the project, but the city is making preparations to accommodate displaced traffic and expects delays on city streets in the downtown area. The Department of Public Works (DPW) will temporarily restrict some on-street parking, detour the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick, monitor and adjust signal times, and limit on-street work to optimize traffic flow.
“DPW partnered with INDOT early on to develop the South Split Closure plan, understanding the critical importance of determining and communicating changes to regular traffic flow on city streets,” Public Works Director Lori Miser said in a press release. “We anticipate some increased traffic on city streets in the downtown area and encourage residents to be patient and give themselves multiple commute options.”
The city will assist in temporarily restricting on-street parking on Illinois, Delaware, Pennsylvania, College, and New York streets in the downtown area to free up additional vehicular travel lanes. These restrictions will vary between parking-time restrictions to prohibiting parking completely. The city will also monitor street repairs and try to limit permits to emergency issues only to minimize downtown thoroughfare delays.
Sections of New York Street will be temporarily restriped where parking is restricted to allow for an additional lane of traffic. Alternating lane restrictions should be expected on New York Street between Delaware and Pine streets. The daytime restrictions are expected to end each day by about 3 p.m. and the restriping will be complete before the Sept. 3 interstate closure.
The Pine Street entrance ramp to eastbound I-70 and one interstate lane adjacent to the ramp will have overnight restrictions as contractors work to temporarily widen the ramp to accommodate two lanes. This work will be complete before the Sept. 3 interstate closure.
At the south split, the right lane of southbound I-65 and the left ramp lane from eastbound I-70 to southbound I-65 will have overnight restrictionst each night as contractors work to construct a temporary ramp configuration ahead of the Sept. 3 interstate closure.
After 8 a.m. on Sept. 2 (Labor Day), contractors will restrict various traffic lanes on city streets for short periods of time to modify signs that direct motorists to the interstate ramps that will remain open during the interstate closure. Interstate lane restrictions should also be expected near the north and south splits on Sept. 2 as contractors prepare to close the interstate after midnight.
The Cultural Trail will be temporarily re-routed across Virginia Street at the I-65 overpass. The trail will remain open during construction, but pedestrian traffic will be directed to the north side of the street while beams are replaced on the bridges.
Contractors estimate this to last about a week in early October. Directional signs will be placed.
Traffic signals will be monitored and adjusted to accommodate the additional traffic. Officials are asking motorists to be patient, as the city and INDOT will have to make minor adjustments in the first weeks of the closure as traffic patterns change. Residents are encouraged to plan multiple alternate route options and to test those routes beforehand.
The city and INDOT will continue working together to optimize traffic flow and maintain access to downtown businesses, neighborhoods, and cultural districts during this interstate closure.
Motorists, residents, and businesses are encouraged to visit the website at www.SouthSplit.in.gov to learn details of the project, view a map of expected closures, and sign up for project e-mail updates using the red GovDelivery envelope icon. Updates will also be provided on the Indiana Department of Transportation East Central Facebook page and on Twitter @INDOT_ECentral and #SouthSplit.