INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– On Monday, “Rethink 65/70,” a group of concerned citizens, is hoping their work can influence state leaders when it comes to the proposed north split construction project.
For more than a year, it has been known INDOT is planning a major overhaul of the downtown I-65/70 north split, to handle increasing traffic congestion as Indianapolis continues to grow.
“The takeaway is what do you want the future of your downtown to be?” said Paul Knapp of Rethink 65/70.
Leaders of the group want to make sure that when the north split project happens, highway sections north and south won’t be shut out from economic potential.
“If you’re looking at the downtown to continue to be an economic engine for not only Indianapolis, but all of central Indiana and the seat of central Indiana, then you ought to be paying attention,” said Knapp.
The group’s plan calls for sections of depressed, or sunken, roadways, which it says maximizes economic development and greenspace. However, Rethink 65/70 admits a cost estimate of their plans was not part of the work done by Arup Advisory, the consulting firm they hired to draw up renderings.
“So we would need to get involved in an effort to do a serious study on the cost of the depressed approach,” said Knapp.
Rethink says their plan has a narrower footprint than INDOT’s proposal, which would allow for the construction of more businesses, homes and apartments.
“Because what we’re putting forward is an opportunity to really spark additional growth,” said Knapp.
The group says INDOT declined its invitation to Monday’s meeting, citing the Veterans Day holiday. In an email, INDOT said they haven’t yet seen the group’s plans, and therefore aren’t in a position to comment.
For its part, INDOT officials said they are open to reviewing these plans, even though they say the time for public comment has ended.