Major I-65 project will shut down several lanes

I-65
Construction signs will be a common sight on I-65 this year, especially at Greenwood's Main Street exit. (WISH Photo)

MARION and JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — Rush hour is going to be a lot slower along on one stretch of Interstate 65 that’s getting a major face lift. Not one, not two, but three lanes at a time will be shut down during some portions of the project.

The work starts at Southport Road and stretches down to Main Street, also known as the Greenwood exit.

In order to speed things up on that busy stretch of I-65, things will have to slow down.

It’s something drivers are already used to doing during the morning and evening commute.

“It’s frustrating, especially if you’ve got family to get home to and things to be doing for the evening ,” said Marcia Whited of Greenwood.

It’s the story workers at the Shell gas station right off the Greenwood exit hear all too often

“Just people complain about time for commute and having to leave earlier and get home later,” said store clerk Melissa Sledge.

But a traffic jam on the off ramp is nothing compared to what INDOT has in store for the 3.5 miles of pavement between Southport Road and Main Street.

“This entire road is going to be rebuilt from the ground up,” said Harry Maginity, INDOT spokesman.

That means during a portion of the project, the northbound lanes will be shut down. Traffic will be shifted into the southbound lanes. Then they’ll switch.

And instead of going three wide, a fourth “auxiliary” lane will be added to cut down on bottlenecks near the exits.

The project was explained at a public meeting Thursday night at Greenwood City Hall. It’s part of INDOT’S 2020 initiative which focuses on fixing up interstates approaching 50 years old.

“Meanwhile, we’re under contract right now from State Road 44 to State Road 252 for major repairs and resurface,” added Maginity.

Some of the work won’t be done during rush hour, instead during times when there’s fewer people on the road.

The project will take months, but drivers feel it’s a fair trade for years smooth sailing.

“We always have to go through hard times in order to get to better times so I guess we can expect that,” said Whited.

The project will cost INDOT about $35 million.

Construction will start mid-March, when shoulders will be widened to start moving traffic over. It’s scheduled to wrap up next July with all of the lanes opening in November.

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