INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Department of Transportation is rolling out plans to upgrade Interstate 465 on the northeast side of the city.
“Clear Path 465” proposals were released to the public Wednesday in a forum at Heritage Christian School in Indianapolis. Those plans concern I-465 starting at the White River Bridge, between the Keystone Avenue and Allisonville Road exits on the north side, and ending at the Fall Creek Bridge, near the Shadeland Avenue exit on the east side.
INDOT representatives say the plan is to add one eastbound and one westbound lane to I-465 starting at the White River going east, and to add one southbound and two northbound lanes starting at Fall Creek going north.
However, simply adding lanes isn’t going to fix the congestion, according to Nathan Riggs, INDOT public information director for the east central district.
“There are some ramp motions at the 465/69 interchange that just aren’t built to be able to carry the amount of traffic that they’re carrying today,” Riggs said. “There’s been so much growth on the northeast side of Indianapolis.”
Those ramp motions are centered on the intersection of I-456, I-69 and Binford Boulevard. Riggs says before INDOT approves a final design for the new on- and off-ramps, it wants to hear from drivers.
“Maybe one of these ramps specifically is the ramp that they’re taking every day, and they have a suggestion for us,” said Riggs. “We want to know what they think is best. We will take all those opinions into consideration when we’re looking at the final design proposal, and we hope to have that before the end of this year.”
INDOT published three specific proposals that traffic engineers drew up to tackle the interchange:
“Once the decisions are made, it’s much harder to change the plans. We’re making those plans right now so if people want to be a part and have a voice, please reach out to us,” Riggs said.
Riggs estimates 200,000 people travel that stretch of I-465 each day. Drivers like Holly Sideman know what that volume of traffic can feel like.
“Rush-hour traffic just comes to a standstill, but you don’t see anything wrong,” Sideman said. “Then all of a sudden it lets up, and there’s no problem.”
Sideman noticed traffic has improved in recent years, thanks to the Allisonville and Keystone projects. Riggs says it’s all part of their bigger plan to help alleviate driving congestion in Indianapolis.
“We’ve gotten some pieces in place leading up to this,” said Riggs, “and this is kind of the big capstone on the northeast side as far as interstate to interstate travel.”
After that proposal is locked in at the end of the year, Riggs says construction should begin in 2020. That’s something Sideman can smile about.
“I’m glad they’re giving us fair warning about this work because a lot of times, it seems in Indianapolis they have too many projects at one time; it just causes problems,” Sideman said.
If you want to voice your opinion on Clear Path 465, you can reach INDOT via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone at 1-855-463-6848, as well as on Facebook, Twitter or through mail at East Central District Customer Service, 32 South Broadway, Greenfield, IN 46140.