The Indiana Department of Transportation's (INDOT) latest plan to reconstruct the ailing I-65/I-70 North Split includes not adding more lanes, the agency announced recently.
The project goals include updating the 32 decaying bridges and pavement, and bring the interchange up to modern standards for construction and safety.
The plan will head into a 30-day public response period before a preliminary design is created. INDOT's initial proposal to fix the North Split was opposed by the Rethink 65/70 Coalition, made up of 50 neighborhood groups, citizens, business and civic organizations. Rethink 65/70 said INDOT's plan seems to meet their concerns, which included not expanding lanes or adding above-grade walls.
The new option was one of multiple possibilities INDOT looked at. The project is estimated to cost $225 to $275 million, and is different than the first plan it released about a year ago. The initial plan included more lanes, widening bridges and adding 25-ft concrete mechanically stabilized earth walls on the same footprint. According to INDOT officials, the newest version of the plan eliminates the weaving patterns that cause many of the split's 300 accidents per year. The preliminary design process for the project is expected to begin in 2019, and construction in 2020.
Source: Indianapolis Star