This just in… State ‘rethinks’ I-65/70 North Split project

The Indiana Department of Transportation has unveiled its “preliminary preferred alternative” to reconstruct the I-65/I-70 North Split – a plan which will not add through lanes and will, state officials said, minimize the footprint of the interchange.

The announcement follows heavy opposition from Downtown residents, organizations and businesses, many of whom banded together as “Rethink I-65/70.”

Mayor Joe Hogsett had an immediate reaction to the Sept. 28 announcement: “This preliminary design is a testament to the legitimate concerns of Indianapolis neighborhoods who have felt the generational impact of the urban interstate system,” Hogsett said. “And INDOT’s genuine willingness to listen and ensure their plans reflected that feedback. Residents should be encouraged by this kind of collaboration, and we can be proud of the initial plans it has resulted in.

State highway officials said the alternative will improve bridge and pavement conditions, correct the most severe safety problems, and improve operations.

“INDOT listened to all input and incorporated as many suggestions as possible,” said INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness. “Our goal in developing this preliminary preferred alternative remains balancing the need to address safety and aging infrastructure with community impacts.”

Hogsett said thankis to McGuinness “for his continued work to bring this much-needed project to fruition, and I applaud the community groups who have tirelessly advocated city and state officials to ensure this infrastructure investment does not impede the livability and growth of our urban neighborhoods.”

The project will include modern bridge structures, wider sidewalks, improved aesthetics, and enhanced landscaping.

The preliminary preferred alternative is presented as part of the North Split project’s alternative screening report. The report is a detailed compilation of the alternatives development and evaluation effort conducted as part of the federally-mandated environmental review process. Each preliminary alternative was evaluated based on its ability to meet purpose and need performance measures identified for the project. Alternatives were also evaluated based on relative cost and impacts to the natural and human environment.

Get a closer look at the plan:

INDOT will host a public open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Arsenal Technical High School. Public comment on the alternative screening report will be accepted through Monday, Oct. 29.

Following conclusion of the 30-day public comment period, INDOT will continue to accept community input as the environmental review process moves forward. Preliminary design is expected to begin in 2019 and construction is anticipated to begin in 2020.

To view the report, click on:

https://northsplit.com/project-documents/alternatives-screening-report/

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