Though I know this is not likely the most exciting thing you will read all day, it is extremely important to know what is happening with our downtown motorways. As many of you know, two chunks of I-65 have been shut down for bridge repair since July 1. This has caused major delays, traffic, and all around frustration. That is why we thought we would give you an update on the project!
As many of you know, the areas affected are downtown Indianapolis and the northwest side. On the downtown end, “the closure lasts from Meridian Street (Exit 113) to 21st Street (Exit 115),” in both directions. On the northwest side, the southbound lanes, “between the I-65 and I-465 interchange [are] closed.” On the northwest closure, northbound traffic will be unaffected. While there is no official detour for the downtown closure, the northwest closure will re-direct drivers to, “I-465 South or I-865 East.”
So why is this all happening, you ask? A fun thing known as bridge deterioration. This project’s goal is to repair, “seven bridges along the stretch of I-65.” Apparently, the Transportation Builders Association ranked Indiana the 14th worst state for structurally deficient bridges. Of the 19,291 bridges in Indiana, 1,435 are considered structurally deficient. This is 7.4% of our total bridges! This ranking has stayed consistent over the years with Indiana earning the 13th rank in 2016, 2014, and 2013 and the 14th rank in 2015.
Now that we have terrified you with the structurally deficient bridges statistics, we thought we would end with some good news. The seven bridges that the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is working on are projected to reopen August 5. All things considered, perhaps the closures are not such a bad thing!
[map photo from https://www.in.gov/indot/3687.htm]