Ramp opening shows signs of progress on South Split project

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INDIANAPOLIS – A ramp that was part of the South Split project has been reconstructed, lowered and reopened.

The I-70 east ramp to I-65 South was reopened on Wednesday. For the past two weeks, traffic was shifted and drivers used a temporary ramp. Construction on the South Split project began Sept. 3. The purpose of the project is to lower the road surface; INDOT wants to give truck drivers more clearance so they can pass underneath bridges without hitting them.

The project was projected to be completed within 59 days by the contractor, Milestone. INDOT offered the contractor a $60,000-a-day incentive to meet or beat that goal.

Nathan Riggs, INDOT’s media relations director for the Greenfield District, said it is too early to predict whether the project will be completed within the projected timeframe.

“It’s a little bit too early to say whether or not this project will finish early, on time, or delayed,” Riggs said.

Riggs said the contractor is working as quickly as possible.

Fountain Square resident Ashlee Schnell has noticed more traffic in the area and more trucks because of the project. She said trucks have damaged some of the infrastructure in Fountain Square, but told Fox 59 she’s seen crews hard at work.

“They work almost night and day so, I’ve never seen them work as hard. Everyone working at the same time,” Schnell said.

INDOT designated I-465 as the main detour for drivers to get around the South Split construction project. Riggs and Indiana State Police said some truck drivers are not obeying the signs that have been posted along I-65/70 to warn truck drivers about restrictions and detours. The new signs indicate large trucks are temporarily banned from exiting onto Michigan Street, New York Street, Ohio Street and Fletcher Avenue. So far this week, ISP issued about 30 tickets to truck drivers who are getting off those exits and not making local deliveries.

Truck driver John Laux said he takes the I-465 detour. On Wednesday, he was driving a flatbed truck to Kansas City, and said he noticed more traffic along I-465. Laux said he usually plans his trip, looks at a map and takes his time.

“It’s not really tough. Make sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to be professional drivers, so we’re supposed to be able to drive all kinds of traffic,” Laux said.

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