South split project leads to trouble spots around Indianapolis


Thousands of drivers had to find a new way to get downtown Tuesday morning as a major construction project began.

For the next 59 days, I-65 and I-70 between the south and north splits downtown will be closed to lower the roadway, and hopefully reduce the number of taller trucks that are hitting the bridges in that area.

INDOT officials say the first day of closures went better than expected. But they did tell Eyewitness News about some areas that were more congested than usual because of the project.

One trouble spot was the Fletcher Ave. ramp. Back-ups on the ramp added extra time to commutes as southbound drivers realized they couldn't enter I-65. They had to weave their way around downtown Indianapolis.

Several drivers were taken by surprise.

"We were all getting off at Fletcher. We were trying to go westbound but that's not happening because we didn't realize it was the entire split both ways," said one man.

Another trouble spot was I-465 and I-65. There was also extra traffic on Binford Boulevard and Keystone Ave.

INDOT says all of their signal engineers are in Indianapolis this week to help alleviate the congestion, along with dealing with the two-month construction project.

Right now INDOT is using milling machines to remove the pavement so they can lower the roadway. Large trucks have repeatedly struck the Virginia Ave. bridge because of clearance problems. Once the project is complete, INDOT says most drivers won't notice the difference.

"Being able to do this in an expedited manner; we originally thought maybe 90 days. Had the contractors compete, bring it down to 59 days and we think maybe they can even do it in less time than that. So hopefully by getting it done quickly, we can get the pavement rebuilt and get the clearance increased and then get everything back to normal with less bridge strikes," said Will Wingfield, INDOT.

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