City prepares for south split closure, extra traffic

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With the closure of the I-65 and I-70 south split nearing, the City of Indianapolis prepared Monday for the expected influx of traffic on city streets.

On-street parking on Illinois, Delaware, Pennsylvania, College and New York streets will be restricted to create extra travel lanes for cars trying to detour around the interstate closure.  On New York Street, in particular, parking will be eliminated altogether in certain parts.

The Department of Public Works is restriping lanes to help keep the new traffic rules as smooth as possible ahead of the closing of the interstate split.

“We just want everyone to really try out some new routes and test them out before that Sept. 3rd closing to make sure that they work in case that they do see some delays,” said DPW’s Lesley Gordon.

DPW is also adjusting the timing of traffic lights and limiting the amount of road work permits it issues, restricting them to emergency issues, in order to keep traffic flowing.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is in charge of the south split closure.  INDOT’s contractor has 59 days to complete the work, which is designed to lower the pavement of the interstates underneath the overpasses in order to prevent large trucks from crashing into bridges, which has happened with some regularity in recent years.

Many commuters know the traffic situation could get frustrating, but many are understanding.

“It has to be done, so we’ll all learn to live with it.  We just have to suck it up and go about our business,” said commuter Gary Walton.  “Patience, which I don’t have a lot of sometimes.”

“I don’t think I like that because we need a lot more parking downtown,” said Kevin Tiller, works and commutes downtown.  “We need parking, need a lot of parking. And just to eliminate parking on some streets and make it traffic, might not work too good.”

For more on INDOT’s south split closure, visit http://www.in.gov/indot/3154.htm.

For more on the DPW lane restriping, visit http://bit.ly/13SeW8l.