Reduced traffic from pandemic leads to heightened speeds, expedited INDOT projects

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- People are heeding Governor Eric Holcomb's orders and staying home when possible. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) says it’s created a 40% cut in traffic around Indy.

The result has INDOT changing their summer construction schedule.

Starting April 13, part of I-70 will be shut down westbound from I-465 to the north split. This includes a 20-day period where it will be closed off in both directions, which wasn’t the original plan, but INDOT is trying to take advantage of the reduced traffic.

The work was originally slated to last five months by utilizing crossover lanes to keep the highway open. With it now fully closed for a period of time during the job, that timeline has shrunk to just a month.

“We don't have to construct that crossover, we don’t have to take barrels up and down every weekend depending on rush hour, depending on traffic,” INDOT spokesperson Mallory Duncan said. "It's a lot safer for crews because there isn’t traffic going by 70 mph.”

Speaking of speeding, the open roads have Indiana State Police seeing an increase in speeds on the highways. While they don’t believe more people are doing it, they are seeing much high numbers on the radar gun.

Troopers liken the speed increase to what they see at night or on Sunday mornings when there are less people on the road. So far, there is no longer a rush hour in Indianapolis.

“It's not uncommon for me to hear troopers stopping cars who are in the 90s or over 100 mph” explained ISP Sgt. John Perrine. “They see an open road, and they think that’s their green light to drive as fast as they want.”

Be warned, you will get a ticket for speeding. Despite quarantine and stay-at-home orders, ISP still has the same amount of troopers on the road.

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