The Indiana Dept. of Transportation (INDOT) will begin making major improvements to one of the state’s heavily traveled highways, Interstate 70 from the east side of Indianapolis to the North Split downtown. The plan to rebuild the aging corridor is set to go thanks to Indiana Gov. Daniels’ Major Moves transportation program.
Preliminary work has been occurring along the six-mile stretch of interstate since August, mostly during off-peak hours. Major lane restrictions and the bulk of construction work are forecast for the 2007 construction season.
“The name of the game here is safety,” said INDOT Commissioner Thomas Sharp, “simply because of the number of cars and trucks using the aging roadway every day. The cost to continue patching it every year just to make it safe enough for traffic is too great. It’s time to start from the ground up.”
The stretch of I-70 from the I-465 east leg to downtown carries nearly 180,000 vehicles per day. It was completed in the early 1970s and has never been rebuilt. “By this time next year,” Sharp advised, “I-70 from the east side to downtown will be smoother, safer and better able to handle high volumes of freight and commuter traffic.”
When completed, the $175-million project will feature 75 lane miles of new pavement, 28 new bridge decks, wider and safer inside shoulders, and improved signage, lighting, and pavement markings. During construction in 2007, weekday and daytime lane restrictions will begin in late February and continue through November. I-465 will be used as an alternative route for traffic traveling through Indianapolis.