The Indiana Department of Transportation is launching an accelerated project that will close Interstate 65 and Interstate 70 between the north and south splits on the east side of downtown Indianapolis for approximately 59 days to reconstruct and lower one-half mile of pavement beneath seven bridges.

Credit: Indiana DOT

Credit: Indiana DOT

The project is necessary to increase bridge clearances and reduce the potential for collisions from unpermitted and off-route trucks with oversize and unsecure loads.

The expected schedule calls for closing the interstate between the north and south splits after Labor Day on Tuesday, September 3. See links at the bottom of the story for maps.

By closing the interstate through the work zone, the state DOT says it can accelerate construction and expedite completion of the project. In order to safely implement the closure, contractors will require interstate lane restrictions beginning September 2. Driver travelling Interstates 65 and 70 through Indianapolis on Labor Day should be aware of reduced travel lanes and restricted work zones as contractors place signs, modify pavement markings and set barricades and barrier walls.

Message boards and signage will direct I-65 and I-70 through traffic to use the south and west legs of I-465.

More than 400 collisions have been recorded at South Split bridges over I-65/I-70 since 1999 and the frequency of vehicle bridge strikes has increased in recent years.

The most severe incident occurred on Feb. 22, when an oversize vehicle struck the Virginia Avenue Bridge, requiring a weekend-long closure of northbound I-65 and eastbound I-70 for emergency repairs to the bridge.

The temporary closure of I-65/I-70 should have a negligible impact to interstate commerce. Using a comparison of lane miles computations, I-70 traffic will be detoured to I-465 around the south side of Indianapolis, adding only 2.2 miles to interstate travel. Re-routed I-65 through traffic via I-465 is approximately 20 miles around the west side of I-465, adding only 3 miles to the trip.

Diverted traffic will use I-465 around the south side of Indianapolis. The detour route will have no lane restrictions during this time, and the Indiana DOT will not plan for any lane closures in other nearby construction zones. Businesses requiring deliveries adjacent to the area closed are encouraged to determine alternate routes in advance.

The state will increase the Hoosier Helper workforce (free interstate service patrols) along I-465 to address incident response and minimize any incident impacts. It’s also working with the Indiana Motor Trucking Association to provide information targeting the trucking industry.

View the South Split Project Area Map to review mainline interstate and ramp closures.

Visit the Detour Routes Map to Review I-65 and I-70 detour routes.