INDIANAPOLIS – As construction on the North Split continues, people who live and work downtown are noticing more interstate traffic on city streets.
“It takes a little bit more effort to get down here, but it’s worthwhile,” said Luke Tobias, the Owner of Futuro, a local pizza spot off of East Washington Street.
Tobias’s business has been directly impacted by the construction.
“It’s definitely an increase in congested traffic,” he explained.
Futuro opened its doors in March, just before the massive road project got underway which made it difficult for customers to visit. Located a block away, Tobias has watched as the major bridges are torn down and drivers attempting to figure out where to go.
“We get a lot of semi-trucks, which I think is really challenging for the downtown folks to deal with,” said Tobias.
It’s an issue that police have tried to help fix.
“We had a lot of complaints early on about traffic in neighborhoods increasing,” said Captain Fred Ilnicki, with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Before construction started police were involved in the plan to get drivers off the interstate and navigate their way through downtown. IMPD says the best advice is to plan ahead.”
“We tried at the best of our ability to predict how it was going to affect our traffic patterns, but that’s all it was, was a prediction. Until we really got into it, we didn’t really know because what we didn’t factor in when trying to re-route traffic was the other construction going on downtown that wasn’t related to the interstate at all,” said Ilnicki.
According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, it’s working with the city to come up with solutions to get vehicles not supposed to be on city streets, off them. To start, the Department of Public Works suggests following the detours and like police mentioned, plan ahead.
“People should continue to pay attention to INDOT’s signage on the interstate for their recommended detour,” said Hannah Scott-Carter, the Public Information Officer for DPW.
Back at the pizza shop, Tobias understands the inconvenience of traffic, but he’s hoping people will remember his doors are open.
“There are a ton of small businesses down here that need the support,” said Tobias, “While it appears things are closed, they’re not.”
The construction is set to be complete by Fall 2022.
For a link to the North Split website by INDOT, click here.