The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) today launched “Operation Indy Commute,” a new initiative to strategically open up recurring commuting bottlenecks at the I-465 and I-65 interchange on the city’s south side, and on I-69 between the 96th Street and 116th Street/State Road 37 exits.
“While Indianapolis does not see the same level of congestion as many other cities, merging and brake-tapping at heavily-traveled interchanges causes rush hour delays and impedes the flow of commerce,” said INDOT Commissioner Michael Cline in a press release.
INDOT has awarded an engineering and design contract to upgrade two ramps connecting I-65 and I-465 on the southeast side of Indianapolis. The two one-lane ramps – I-65 northbound to I-465 eastbound and I-465 westbound to I-65 southbound – will be upgraded for $36 million such that they can move two lanes of traffic at higher speeds, better connecting Southport, Greenwood and Beech Grove. American Structurepoint Inc. of Indianapolis will complete road and bridge design, permitting, utility coordination and land acquisition.
A board-certified Professional Traffic Operations Engineer and former Indianapolis Department of Public Works employee, Commissioner Cline ordered upon taking office six months ago a fresh, objective look at I-69 traffic flow in Marion and Hamilton Counties. Analysis using video cameras, traffic speed sensors and field observations found that $30 million in staged improvements built since 2006 have made marked improvements in traffic flow at I-69 and I-465, and nearby exits at 82nd Street and Allisonville Road.
I-69 bottlenecks in both directions remain, however, as a result of merging and heavy traffic at 96th Street, 116th Street and State Road 37 entrance and exit ramps. Over the next few months, INDOT engineers will evaluate potential solutions, including building more lanes exiting northbound onto 116th Street and State Road 37 or an additional lane in each direction between the 96th Street, 116th Street and State Road 37 interchanges. To minimize impacts to traffic, “Operation Indy Commute” construction would be completed prior to 465/69 Northeast reconstruction of I-69 south of the 96th Street ramps.
An anticipated schedule will be determined pending further engineering and design. INDOT will begin “Operation Indy Commute” construction in at least one of these locations during 2012 and wrap up all phases by the end of 2015.
Today’s announcements are in addition to Major Moves construction contracts already awarded or nearing completion on all sides of the Indianapolis metropolitan area including:
- Widen and rebuild I-70 east between the Post Road and Mt. Comfort Road exits
- Widen and repave I-65 northwest between I-865 and Lebanon
- I-465 west side interchange reconstruction at I-70, Sam Jones Expressway and I-74/Crawfordsville Road
- I-465 north side interchange reconstruction at Keystone Avenue
- I-465 south side interchange improvements at State Road 37/Harding Street