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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department Of Transportation is launching a brand-new effort to explore the future of urban interstates, especially around downtown Indianapolis.

The effort is called “ProPEL Indy,” which consists of a two-year study and conversation focusing on upgrades within the I-465 loop over the next two decades. The project will focus on modernizing I-65 and I-70 inside the I-465 Loop.

INDOT describes ProPEL Indy as a planning and environmental linkages study, which is what the “PEL” stands for.

“Much of this infrastructure is starting to show its age,” said Natalie Garrett with INDOT. “You know, any type of infrastructure over time, just like your house or just like your car, shows age. So we’re starting to look at ways to enhance those and make needed repairs coming up here in the future.”

This is exactly why INDOT is looking so far ahead with ProPEL Indy. The study effort will help determine what work can be done over the next 20 years or so.

“[It’s] very big picture,” Garrett said. “I mean INDOT is typically planning five, six, or seven years in terms of construction projects and maintenance projects. So this is definitely the bigger picture.”

The department plans to gather feedback over the next two years.

“You know we want to hear any and everything,” Garrett said. “We’re starting with a blank slate.”

The department will finalize its study in 2025, which will include a list of recommended improvements. Groups like the Rethink Coalition say this is the chance to make Indianapolis a true “Crossroads of America.”

“This is a once-in-a-two-generation opportunity to say to ourselves what can we do throughout Indianapolis and central Indiana to make that a reality,” Rethink Coalition Co-Chair Charles Richardson said.

Richardson lives right in the heart of downtown. He said he thinks ProPEL Indy will bring about quite a bit of useful conversation.

“We’re looking forward to participating in that, and bringing facts, data, information and suggestions forward as everyone in the community should do,” he said.

Richardson said urban life and quality of life are “critically important.” He said this new INDOT effort is a great way to enhance that.

“Now we need to say to ourselves, how do we get the neighborhoods back together and how do we create an environment where people want not just to commute into the center, but live here?”

INDOT is holding a variety of public meetings throughout the next two weeks to get feedback from the community. The department also has an online survey that can be filled out.

Below are the dates and times of the upcoming sessions:

  • Tuesday, May 30
    • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
      Monument Circle
      Downtown Indianapolis
  • Wednesday, May 31
    • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
      Indianapolis City Market
      222 E. Market Street
  • Wednesday, May 31
    • 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
      Chin Community of Indiana
      2524 E. Stop 11 Road
  • Thursday, June 1
    • 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
      Statehouse Market
      Robert D. Orr Plaza
  • Thursday, June 1
    • 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
      John Boner Neighborhood Center
      2236 E. 10th Street
  • Monday, June 5
    • 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
      International Marketplace
      Global Village
      4233 Lafayette Road
  • Tuesday, June 6
    • 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
      OrthoIndy Foundation YMCA
      5315 Lafayette Road