City leaders hope major interstate closure won’t deter visitors downtown

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INDIANAPOLIS — As the state shuts down a large section of the I-65/I-70 split this weekend until 2022, city leaders want to remind people that access will remain open into downtown.

The Indiana Department of Transportation will close down much of the north split as it embarks on a $350 million project that will reconfigure the interchange in order to remove areas where drivers have to cross multiple lanes of traffic to stay on I-65 or I-70.

“It’ll be very well worth it when it’s done,” INDOT spokesperson Mallory Duncan said.

Duncan stressed that drivers and commuters should plan their route now, as increased traffic will be likely while drivers adjust to the closure. For those who are passing through downtown, rather than stopping, INDOT encourages you to use I-465 to go around the city instead.

“That’s going to be our main detour route and that will only add about five minutes to your commute,” Duncan said.

INDOT will soon add temporary ramp signals along I-465 in order to control increased traffic flow.

For those driving into downtown, most exits will remain open and accessible. Bob Schultz, with Downtown Indy, Inc, hoped the closure would not deter people from frequenting downtown just as businesses work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We can’t let off the gas pedal. We want to keep downtown open and energized and with a returning workforce (plus) returning events that are coming to downtown,” Schultz said.

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works said it was working with INDOT to keep an eye on any increased traffic downtown and respond as necessary.

To plan your route and learn more about the north split project, visit the INDOT project page at the link here.

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