The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has begun preliminary work to rebuild the north split interchange of I-65 and I-70 in Indianapolis, while also looking to implement a broader redesign to reduce congestion.
Indianapolis engineering firm HNTB has unveiled six different options, including rebuilding the highways as underpasses instead of overpasses, building a tunnel, adding and redesigning lanes, or replacing the interstates with boulevards.
The north split project is the first priority. A required environmental review is underway, but construction is at least two years away. After that, INDOT will dig deeper into the recommendations to consider exact routes for a redesigned highway and what the construction challenges would be.
The highways carry up to 166,000 vehicles a day through downtown, a volume they weren't designed to handle. That leads to frequent traffic jams, compounded by interchanges which require drivers to weave across several lanes of traffic to reach their exit. The highways average more than 300 accidents a year.
HNTB says the different options would carry price tags of anywhere from $500 million to $5.5 billion, but could reduce traffic delays by as much as 10%. Three options involving boulevards include both the cheapest and most expensive designs, but all three would actually slow traffic down more.
Source: WIBC-FM (Indianapolis)