Indiana’s 2nd Busiest Interchange Set to Close for 18 Months For $320M Project
Indianapolis, IN – The second busiest interchange in Indiana is scheduled to completely shut down this weekend as part of an 18-month, $320 million construction project.
Known as the North Split, the interchange connects Interstates 70 and 65 in downtown Indianapolis.
It contains 3.1 miles of roadway, spanning from the I-70 Valley Avenue bridge to the east, the I-65/I-70 and Washington Street interchange to the south, and the I-65 Alabama Street bridge to the west.
The closure is set to begin on Saturday, May 15 in the southbound lanes, with a full closure going into effect on Sunday, May 16.
Not only is the interchange the State’s second-most heavily traveled, but according to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), it is also the most dangerous.
INDOT reported crash rates in the North Split are more than twice as high as other urban interstates in the State.
A July 2020 report on the project stated the high traffic volume and the interchange’s design — including the infamous “abrupt curve” from the south leg to the east leg — as factors in the crash rate.
“In addition to its poor physical condition, the interchange configuration is inefficient and poorly suited for the volumes of traffic it is serving,” INDOT stated.
Most of the infrastructure is more than 50 years old, and INDOT noted 32 bridges in the area that require repairs or complete replacements.
INDOT also stated the upgrades will “remove the worst bottlenecks” in the area.
The project has been in the works for approximately three years, with original project estimates reported as $240 million.
However, the project has since ballooned to an estimated $320 million.
What Do Drivers Need to Know About Traveling Through Downtown Indianapolis
According to INDOT, the following is what drivers can expect during the projected 18-month shutdown of the North Split:
• Will be accessible from the North Illinois Street onramp.
• Will remain open through the South Split up to the Washington Street exit.
• Will be closed to I-65 northbound through traffic and to I-70 westbound.
• Will remain open to I-70 eastbound (except closed for 45 days in Fall 2021).
• Will be accessible from the West Street entrance ramp to I-70 eastbound only (except closed for 45 days in Fall 2021).
• Will be accessible from the Delaware Street entrance ramp to I-70 eastbound only (except closed for 45 days in Fall 2021).
• Will be accessible from the Washington Street entrance ramp.
• Will remain open at the Keystone interchange.
• Will remain open to I-65 northbound.
• Will remain open to either the Michigan or Ohio Street exits via collector/distributor.
• Will be accessible from Washington Street entrance ramp.
• Will be closed to I-70 westbound through traffic and to I-65 southbound.
• Will be accessible from Pine Street entrance ramp. (There will be detours as the Michigan Street, New York Street and Vermont Street bridges are reconstructed, but the Pine Street entrance ramp onto I-70 eastbound will remain open.)
• From the airport, all exits remain open for eastbound traffic up to Washington Street.
• The West, Illinois and Meridian Street interchanges (south side) can access I-65 southbound and I-65 northbound to Washington Street.
• Will be closed to I-70 eastbound through traffic and to I-65 northbound.
• I-465 would be used as a detour for through traffic on I-65 and I-70.
INDOT’s goal is to complete the project by the end of 2022.