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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

I-70 reopens to traffic in Hancock County

Interstate 70 is back open through Hancock County following a weekend of emergency road repairs.

HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) – Interstate 70 is back open through Hancock County following a weekend of emergency road repairs.

Police shut down eastbound I-70 in Hancock County Sunday for the second straight day to allow for INDOT contractors to repair the shoulder on an eastbound stretch of road in eastern Hancock County.

Just after 7 a.m. Sunday, police shut down all eastbound traffic at the Greenfield exit because new holes on the road shoulder in a construction zone on I-70 in eastern Hancock County had developed overnight.

Later Sunday morning, the closure moved west to the Mt. Comfort Road exit and INDOT announced the closure would last through the weekend until Monday morning.

An INDOT spokesperson told Eyewitness News that Saturday's emergency repairs were holding up, but heavy semi traffic had broken more pavement in a different area, prompting Sunday's closure.

This after an unexpected detour around the same trouble spot Saturday afternoon left traffic backed up for seven miles at one point, stretching west of Greenfield.

Drivers left their parked vehicles when emergency road repairs shut down I-70 east of Greenfield Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (INDOT camera image)

Drivers were stuck on I-70 for several hours late Saturday morning into early afternoon.

Some like Nancy O'Neil and her husband and three dogs, got off at an exit as soon as they could.

"This is what we do, get gas, relieve them. My husband gets gas and I take the dogs for a little walk," O'Neill said, walking her dog in the grass next to a gas station.

Drivers in many vehicles didn't even know why they were stopped in traffic. They thought it might be because of an accident and were surprised to learn it was for emergency repairs.

"I'm just surprised they closed it on a Saturday during the day. It's kind of stupid to me," said one woman, heading home to Maryland.

The several hours-long closures, once in the early afternoon and again at 4 p.m. for more than 6 hours, left several drivers frustrated.

"I'm probably about two hours behind," said Tyson Schilling, heading to Ohio from Arkansas.

Not to mention, many were confused about where to head next.

"I could use the directions in how to detour that way east," said another driver.

"Now I just gotta figure out where I"m going," said yet, another driver.

"I quit driving 70 along time ago because it's so terrible," said Bill Vaughn.

For people like Nancy O'Neil, just passing through from vacation, she's got time to spare and she certainly needed all that time today.

"We're in the RV, so it's very comfortable," said O'Neill.