I-65 Shutdown DELAYED Until..?
(Photo credit: WIBC Traffic)
A couple of months ago, Indy’s traffic status was lowered to DEFCON 4 after the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced for 35-days, parts of I-65 would close in Pike Township (northwest side) and around downtown for another bridge rehab project.
It was scary then, but March turned to April, and now April is turning into May, and SURELY INDOT wouldn’t even consider creating such a traffic abnormality so close to the running of a certain world class open wheeled race.
They wouldn’t, right?
Let’s first take a look at what parts of I-65 we’re talking about, starting with...
This is especially troublesome for Boone County commuters who head downtown during the morning commute. If you live in, say, western Zionsville and your drive in sends you southbound I-65 through the I-465 interchange (not I-865, just I-465), then get ready for a morning changing reroute. I-65 will close between the I-65/I-465 interchange on the northwest side. Here it is:
(Photo credit: INDOT)
This is what nightmares are made of.
I-65 in BOTH DIRECTIONS -as in northbound and southbound lanes - will close from 21st St. to the Meridian St/Pennsylvania St. exit (113) during the same time period that southbound I-65 in Pike Township closes. Umm, that means they're closing both sections of I-65 at the same time, and WHY? According to Lamar Holliday - Media Relations Director at INDOT - the seven bridge rehabilitation project can be completed faster by working on the two stretches as one project instead of creating intermittent closures.
Here’s what we’re looking at downtown:
During the 35-day stretch, southbound I-65 commuters will be forced off at the 21st St. exit. Not to mention a series of ramps will also close. Behold:
RAMPS CLOSING (six total)
W. 21st Street
I-65 southbound on-ramp to 21st St.
I-65 northbound off-ramp to 21st St..
I-65 southbound and northbound off-ramps to West St.
West St. on-ramps to southbound and northbound I-65.
Illinois St/W. 12th St. on-ramp to northbound I-65.
I-65 southbound off-ramp to Meridian St/Pennsylvania St.
I-65 northbound on-ramp to 21st St.
I-65 northbound off-ramp to Meridian St/Pennsylvania St.
Delaware St/11th St. on-ramp to southbound I-65.
Make sense? Here's a map:
(Photo credit: INDOT)
So when is this traffic mess of sucktitude actually going to go down? According to Scott Manning of INDOT, the project - in its entirety - will NOT begin earlier than June 1st - meaning race traffic will avoid having to negotiate one giant gaping hole in the Indy interstates. The completion time for both stretches of I-65 is still estimated at 35-days.
Fret not. At least not until June. We'll fret then.
The official start dates wont be announced until INDOT officially contracts the project out. That could be anytime now. We'll let you know.
As always, much love.
Matt Bair doesn't have a stoned pet raccoon, but accidently struck a deer with dilated pupils. He's the new voice of Indianapolis traffic, and can be followed on Twitter @WIBCTraffic. Tips? Call direct at (317) 684-8134 or the 93 WIBC Newsroom at (317) 637-6397.