INDIANAPOLIS – The already congested northeast side of Indianapolis is set to get some relief—but drivers will have to endure a few years of additional traffic headaches to get it.
The Indiana Department of Transportation announced a two-contract, multiyear construction plan to improve traffic flow and safety on I-465 and I-69, with the work set to begin in spring 2022.
It will include replacing pavement, constructing 14 new bridges, rehabilitating two current bridges, building new ramp lanes, adding travel lanes, modifying interchanges and other maintenance work.
Some of the highlights include:
- A new two-lane ramp will provide a direct connection from eastbound I-465 to northbound I-69 and there will be a separate ramp for eastbound I-465 traffic exiting onto 82nd Street.
- Southbound I-69 traffic heading to 82nd Street or Binford Boulevard will exit on the right side before 82nd Street onto a collector-distributor road providing local access.
- Northbound Binford Boulevard traffic will split – the left two lanes will provide direct access to northbound I-69 and the right lane will provide access to westbound I-465 and 82nd Street.
The first contract of the Clear Path 465 project involves rebuilding and adding lanes to 4.5 miles of I-465 between the White River, west of Allisonville Road, and Fall Creek. The second contract, set for 2023, will reconfigure the I-465 and I-69 interchange, adding new ramps to provide direct movements from eastbound I-465 and northbound I-465 to northbound I-69.
The multiphase project aims to keep I-465 and I-69 open through the duration, with traffic shifts being used to help maintain the existing number of I-465 lanes during the day. During some parts of construction, the left lane of northbound and westbound I-465 will cross the median as an “express lane” for cars only with no exits in the work zone. The right lane of eastbound I-465 will be converted to an exit-only lane at I-69 and Binford Boulevard.
In order to accommodate the project, INDOT said three ramps will have to close to keep traffic flowing:
- The Allisonville Road on-ramp to eastbound I-465
- The Shadeland Avenue/56th Street on-ramp to northbound I-465
- The Northbound Binford Boulevard on-ramp (loop ramp) to westbound I-465
INDOT also said some local roads will close for the project:
East 71st Street is expected to close for up to one year starting in spring 2022 to lower the road and provide more clearance for local traffic underneath the I-465 bridge. The Allisonville Road bridge over I-465 is also scheduled to close for up to five consecutive weekdays in summer 2022 for preventive maintenance work on the bridge deck and sidewalk repairs. The south end of Castleton Road is expected to have traffic restrictions during 2022.
In 2023, INDOT expects to start construction on a milelong stretch of I-69 from 86th Street to I-465. This work will change how I-69 and Binford Boulevard connect with I-465 and 82nd Street.
For this part of the project, interstate ramps between I-465 and I-69 will “be transformed with high-speed, direct movements that improve safety by reducing traffic weaving and merging,” according to INDOT.