What in the what is going on in the north split? Is it closing, because everyone says it’s closing, and it IS, but all of it?! What’s to become of us?! What’s the significance of the construction bogging down two of the three legs going into the the north split, as in westbound I-70 after Rural St., and on the northbound I-65/70 to eastbound I-70 ramp in the north split proper (both done at the end of May/early June)? Why this prelude? How long? What’s next? Who said this is cool? Bring me their head!
Answers forthcoming, and it all starts with this: Indiana’s second busiest interchange is getting a monster of a makeover. It’s either sturdy the north split and fix up its bridges, or feel them crumble beneath our tires. You do you, but I have no time to fall through a bridge and into the White River, where the water dissolves our vehicles and then our flesh and bones. This is a recurring night terror.
What makes this an extra special traffic blog from the Traffic Centre is, yes, PART of the north split is closing, but other parts are certainly remaining open. On May 15th (weather permitting), southbound and northbound I-65/70 between the north split and Washington St. will shut down for eighteen-months, or the exact lifetime of Mike the Headless Chicken. Westbound I-70 and southbound I-65 traffic will STILL be able to ramp into northbound I-65 and eastbound I-70, respectively (that’s the “top” of the north split)**, using north split ramps. The southbound I-65/70 collector ramp (local ramp to Fletcher Ave., Michigan St., Ohio St, or Exit 112B) will be available during construction, but not all the way through, and only certain ramps will be open. In addition, a couple of on-ramps will remain untouched and still grant access from downtown to your preferred interstates, and vice versa.
**Southbound I-65 to eastbound I-70 will close for 45-days in the fall. More on that later.
So the closure is not a total catastrophe, but more like a minor cataclysm.
Let’s dig in. I made maps.
Construction, and how it is today
There’s plenty of north split construction leading up the I-65/70 closure this month. The map below indicates three work zones that are already in play. They include northbound I-65/70, eastbound I-70, and westbound I-70.
Here’s what the map is telling us:
- Westbound I-70: Road construction after Rural St./Keystone Ave. to the north split. The left two lanes are blocked until late May – early June, 2021.
- Northbound I-65/70 loses a lane on the ramp to eastbound I-70. The right lane is blocked on the ramp to eastbound I-70, and will be until late May – early June, 2021.
- Northbound I-65/70 AND Eastbound I-70: Eastbound I-70 has entered a crossover pattern with westbound I-70 after traffic from the Pine St. entrance ramp (Michigan St.) merges. In other words, eastbound I-70 has “shifted” into the median shoulder and left travel lane of westbound I-70. In turn, westbound I-70 is using the north side of the interstate, including the outside shoulder, for travel. This pattern will be in place until July 1st, 2021.
And now, the meat of the whole thing.
- How Do I Get into Downtown, Tough Guy?
- Whadabout Going East and West? I Want to do That
- Okay. How do I get OUT of downtown?
- Great. Now Coming Through the South Split..
INDOT has other resources out there, including a construction forecast map and a virtual project office. Check ’em out if you like. You can also hit me up on Twitter at @WIBCTraffic or @MattINTraffic. If email’s your thing, email@example.com gets me directly. Questions, comments, anything. We’ll get it straightened out.
The blog you just canvased will be updated as changes drop, so check back for the latest updates or surprise additions and subtractions. Drop me a line if you see anything exotic that we can share the rest of the class.
This is a colossal project with lots of moving parts. Be ready before your first commute, know exactly how to execute, and please watch out for everyone working on the interstate. They have families, after all.