Stay-at-home order shortens I-70 construction timeline by months

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – All lanes of Interstate 70 between the North Split and Interstate 465 are now closed for construction.

Eastbound lanes closed on April 13 and westbound lanes closed Friday.

The construction focuses on bridge work. There are 26 bridges on this stretch of the interstate.

“We have specific bridge crews out there working on maintaining that structure,” says INDOT spokeswoman Mallory Duncan. “Then then a lot of concrete patching, a lot of concrete work throughout the entire zone.”

The work focuses on bridge joints. Duncan says those are areas where humps and dips may be felt by drivers.

“Maybe when you get out on the road after this is done you won’t see the construction because there won’t be brand-new black asphalt, but you will feel it,” she says.

INDOT initially expected the project to take five and a half months. The original plan kept traffic moving but built cross over lanes around the construction zone.

That changed as a result of the stay-at-home order.

“What happened is we’re seeing a 40% decrease in travel on the roads, and that’s statewide during the week,” says Duncan, adding there is a decrease of 50% on weekends.

INDOT decided to close all lanes at once, which significantly shortened the timeline.

“Instead of five and a half months, we’re going to be done at the end of May.”

INDOT says the closure also helps protect workers, which is timely considering this is Workzone Safety Week.

Duncan encourages drivers to keep in mind they have projects from I-465 all the way to the Ohio border along I-70. In those zones there will still be live traffic flowing beside the cones and crews.

The eastbound lanes between I-465 and the north split are expected to open back up May 13. The westbound lanes are scheduled to open 10 days later.

In the meantime, here is a list of detours you can use to avoid the area:

  • From the airport to I-70 EB: Take I-70 EB to I-465 SB to I-70 EB. 
  • From Downtown Indianapolis to I-70 EB: Take I-65 SB to I-465 EB to I-70 EB. 
  • From I-70 WB to Downtown Indianapolis: Take I-465 SB to I-65 NB to Downtown Indianapolis. 
  • From I-70 WB to the airport: Take I-465 SB to I-70 WB on the southwest side. 

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