INDIANAPOLIS — Ramp changes to the North Split shutdown are causing new traffic headaches for drivers navigating downtown. The I-70 off ramp at Ohio Street is closed for the remainder of the project. Instead, drivers are being directed to a new off ramp on Michigan. It’s the first completed portion of the project.
“I assume it’s going to get crazy,” said Zack Vandeman who bikes to work in Irvington but returns back downtown through Michigan. “I would much rather be on a bike than a car. You can bypass a lot of the worst of it.”
Drivers have been dealing with traffic already on Michigan. They tell us that delivery truck drivers often stop on the street to drop off products to nearby businesses and restaurants. It can reduce traffic to a single lane. Indy Department of Public Works (DPW) says they can not restrict vehicles who are legally allowed to drive through, however they are monitoring traffic patterns.
There are numerous projects happening downtown with DPW and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). DPW says they have been hearing traffic complaints from drivers all summer, despite having less projects this year than in previous years.
“It seems to be a matter of perception,” explained DPW spokesperson Ben Easley. “Surely with the north split traffic that is now on downtown streets, we imagine people are feeling the pain of some of those construction projects a bit more.”
Before the North Split project began, INDOT revamped traffic lights on city streets to change the flow easier. Those lights and patterns will be monitored in the coming weeks.
“We are remotely able to control signals, and time them differently depending on which local street is closed and however traffic patterns have changed,” explained Mallory Duncan, communications director for INDOT. “It’s through a GPS system. It’s all online all in our traffic management center. Traffic flow is changing on a weekly or day-to-day basis.”
Currently Ohio Street is also closed to traffic near the split, however that is expected to re-open in a few week. INDOT hopes that further aids traffic woes.