TRAFFIC: Weekend Jambalaya: Big Damn Downtown Hole
Indianapolis traffic is a fragile ecosystem. A well-opportuned crash on the downtown interstates can add some serious travel time heading back to the bunker. It’s no different on Indy’s heavily travelled inner-city commuter routes, just like - to name a few - Capitol, Illinois, Pendleton Pike, Binford, 31 north/south side, and...
(Travelers would survive without this - therefore not part of the ecosystem)
Holy hole hell, did carpocolypsegeddon commence Wednesday afternoon. Delaware - a northbound one-way with interstate access to the north split - was closed for a block because of giant hole opened up in the middle of the road and decided get comfy on both sides of the street. Just a block, but sweet baby Jesus, someone call the law.
(The hole wasn’t metered, creating a free parking opportunity downtown. Trust me, your would have fit)
The reaction was World War III. Hand gestures, double parking, dogs grew horns and became goats - gave milk, people stopped fornicating under the 10th St. underpass, and even fat boy Kim Jong Un (thanks Hammer and Nigel) shot a rocket over Japan to voice his displeasure of Indianapolis traffic patterns. I wasn't there, but I heard rumors.
Anyways, ecosystem. Take a look at this. These are your options if you remove Delaware St. from your evening commute home.
(Photo credit: Department of Business and Neighborhood Services)
(Instead, take westbound I-70 to the airport and fly to Chicago. Take southbound I-65 through Lebanon).
So what happened??
NOT A SINKHOLE
The hole was NOT a Sinkhole. I’ve lived downtown my entire Indianapolis life. My first apartment was at the corner of Delaware and Vermont. If I had gotten a whiff that a sinkhole opened up across the street, I would have jumped my lease and let the authorities never take me alive.
Fact is, the ground did not open up and swallow your cat. The hole was part of an ongoing construction project on Delaware St. - a sewer connect that’s lasted for a week and-a-half. Someone turned their shovel wrong way or something and the whole thing caved in - therefore the closure. I’m calling this a win, because it beats an infrastructure problem that could be perpetual. Not the case.
(Then again, that looks like fun)
We had it and covered it on Twitter because we're silky smooth. You better hop on now before we can’t take anymore followers. So much full:
GIANT HOLE DOWNTOWN‼️🕳️ | Unbelievable. Hole the size of my car has opened up on Delaware, which is now closed from North to Walnut @93wibc
— WIBC Traffic (@WIBCTraffic) September 13, 2017
BIG DOWNTOWN HOLE UPDATE‼️🕳️ | Delaware St. down to 2 lanes at North St because of a big fat hole. It's covered,but expect more work today pic.twitter.com/GVRyjEJkOA
— WIBC Traffic (@WIBCTraffic) September 14, 2017
SO WHAT NOW, BAIR?
The center lanes of Delaware St. from North St. to Walnut St are still closed, with the outside lanes still open. Dimiti Kyser of the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services - formerly the Department of Code Enforcement - said the entire project should be done by Friday night, September 15th. No more delays - Delaware St. becomes a drag strip again. Hooray!
UPDATE: ALL LANES OPEN ON DELAWARE!! IT'S DONE! CAW! CAW!
NORTH SPLIT RAMP CLOSURE
Take a deep breath and I’ll walk you through this. In the north split, the ramp from westbound I-70 to southbound I-65 is closed from Friday night at 9:00pm to Monday morning at 6:00am. Back in March, a semi turned itself into a forty-ton candle by taking the corner too fast and consequently nailed the barrier. Amazing. That's a corner you can't take fast, even in my car that's made for a teenager.
Here it is. If you’re heading into downtown from Greensburg - maybe for a bit at Shapiro’s on McCarty before hitting Indy Irish Fest Saturday (why not) - you’ll be directed to the collector ramp that runs parallel to the main drag of southbound I-65.
(Photo credit: INDOT)
If you’ve been following the WIBC Traffic Blog with regularity - it is essential to your health - you’ll recall the collector ramp distributes interstate traffic to the city streets. Expect to see signs that say “Michigan St/New York St/Ohio St.” If you see these signs, then you know you’re going the right way. Be ready to exit onto westbound I-70 and jump off on East St. The rest is the history, as you make it.
AIRPORT - RONALD REAGAN/AMERIPLEX
If you’re heading to Florida to check on your retirement home, expect an inconvenience or two as you head to the world’s greatest airport. From Friday night at 9:00pm to Monday morning at 6:00am, the right lanes of Ronald Reagan/Ameriplex Pkwys will be closed. Additionally - and unrelated to air travel - you won’t be able to go north on Ronald Reagan from I-70 East, or south onto Ameriplex from I-70 West.
(Photo credit: INDOT)
OH HEY STATE ROAD 37. TAKE THIS!!
Good God I hate this road, and I’ve driven it maybe four times in my life. A portion of State Road 135 is shutting down just south of Morgantown, meaning more traffic could be pushed onto State Road 37 just south of Martinsville. Not kidding. Detour:
(Photo credit: INDOT)
I’ve taken so many calls (thank you!) on how nightmarish SR 37 is from Indy to Bloomington. This should be a small addition to traffic to an already spot of sucktitude. If this was post-apocolyptic Indiana - coming in 2025 - brigands would storm the stopped traffic and raid the coolers. After all, even in the distant future, you have to stock up for Sundays, so why not leave everyone alone and just get your booze. Our statehouse "leaders" will be in a committee meeting or doing a study on the proper temperature of cold beer - or something. Or probing.
THE BEST OF THE REST
Hey, let the good times roll! Irish Fest! Oktoberfest! Colts are going to great - and they are great!!! So great! Read on!
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
Exceptional music and company of a gregarious sort. Plus redheads.. lots of redheads.
Be careful. In my humble experience, hanging with redheads is like riding the Zipper at the county fair - lots of fun, but you're one loose nut away from instant death. Seriously, be ready to duck when the trolley jumps the tracks.
**Expect traffic around the west side of downtown, especially around Military Park and campus. Fun stuff. Go. Through Sunday.
Indianapolis Wine Fest
This is what Georgia Street is meant to do - offer upstart festivals a chance to show their stuff while allowing an opportunity to grow their community. Why isn’t there one every weekend, from Spring to Fall? Non-related convention traffic would have a blast mingling over - just for something else to do.
**The south lane of Georgia street will be closed next to the Indiana Convention Center on Friday from 3:00pm - 11:00pm and Saturday from 1:00pm - 10:00pm. Plan accordingly. Not for the traffic so much, but for the Uber.
Monument Circle Oktoberfest presented by Columbia Club
Hey, come down. It’s not exclusive to Columbia Club members. Totally open to the public.
One thing did make me laugh. Take a look:
Itenaray for Friday’s Oktoberfest event:
Friday, September 15
4:00pm Biergartens and Food Tent Open on Monument Circle
5:00pm Member Brauhaus Buffet
(Contact your concierge for buffet dinner reservations)
7:00pm POLKABOY live on Monument Circle
Visit www.indianapolisoktoberfest.com for a special offer
Cash and Credit Cards Accepted
LIMITED VALET SERVICE ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
- All Vehicles Utilizing Valet Must Be Picked Up By 11:30am-
NO VALET FOR OKTOBERFEST
MONUMENT CIRCLE CLOSES AT 12:00PM
Great fun! I'd go! Columbia Club fun is Circle fun. But, uh oh:
BWAHAHAH lordy. Wait, hold on, I'm done laughing. Are the Colts really that bad?! Sunday is coming up and it's the hom-BWAHAHAHA okay I'm done.. anyways
**The north half of Monument Circle will be closed from 1:00pm - 1:00am.
Klipsch: Luke Bryan: Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Everyday Tour 2017
Damn it. I had to ask biscuits again about a country music concert. Skip to Sunday:
ME: Have you ever seen Luke Bryan?
Biscuits: YES! My favorite
He’s hot and good
Me: Are you going this weekend? What was the concert experience like?
Biscuits: There’s always a ton of people. He’s popular.
When I was a kid, Dad and I drove her to the depths of rural northern Indiana. He’d open the back door to the cutlass and be like “you’re free. Go.” She kept finding her way back.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
HAMMER AND NIGEL TAILGATE:
Hammer and Nigel are ready to party some. Stop by Georgia street and give ‘em a yell. They’ll probably start around 5:00am and a case deep by pregame. Fun stuff. Listen on 93 WIBC.
I have four tickets to the Colts home opener and I can't give 'em away. Colts' head coach Chuck Pagano - or who I'll call "tricky Chuck" - hasn't announced his quarterback for Sunday. What kind of secrets are we hiding? What kind of diabolical trap is he going to sping on Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals? Give me a break.
UPDATE: Colts are starting the guy from New England. I'm guessing it's Brady.
Normally I’d get all blustery and red face over the traffic around downtown during a Colts' game, but there’s this:
Whoa hey! $10 tickets! Full house! The monster is built!
**There will be traffic downtown - it’s the Colts home opener. As always, be safe and leave early - probably in third quarter.
My favorite part of talking traffic is when I have details. Sure, I see the importance when there’s a wreck at Fall Creek and Keystone, but it’s all the better when I can say “people are moving to the right on Keystone because of a two car crash at Fall Creek.” That’s when we’re really helping people. The tips were so great this week, we were able to do just that with frequency. Much, much appreciated.
I encourage everyone join in the conversation. I’m a weirdo. I love talking roads. Thank you for your help.
Matthew Bair's first marriage ended when his wife left him for a man with a bigger south split. He's the new voice of Indianapolis traffic, and can be followed on Twitter @WIBCTraffic. Tips? As in ribs? Call direct at (317) 684-8134 or the WIBC Newsroom at (317) 637-6397.