Two downtown interchanges make list of top 100 points of highway congestion in the U.S.

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Two downtown interchanges have made the list of top 100 points of highway congestion in the U.S.

The study released Wednesday by the American Transportation Research Institute looks at interchanges, bridges and highways. Their research has an emphasis on the trucking industry, since their representatives say trucks move 70% of the nation’s freight and road congestion impacts the economy.

I-65 at I-70 south and I-65 at I-70 north both made it into the top 50 on the list, with the north split at number 34, and the south split at number 38.

CBS4 talked to INDOT officials about the findings. INDOT representatives say their research shows congestion in the area, but it happens during two specific times of the day: the morning and evening rush hours.

“The real congestion, the actual slowing down of traffic below 45 mph and beyond, occurs during two hour periods during the morning and afternoon commute hours,” said INDOT spokesperson Nathan Riggs.

“With I-65, I-70, both major freight, major commuter routes through Indianapolis combining at that point, it’s understandable that there would be some slowdowns, but it’s limited to those peak traffic periods in the morning, peak traffic periods in the afternoon and of course when we have incidents like crashes,” Riggs said.

Riggs explained, it would be very expensive to make changes in the area of the north and south split since the downtown real estate is claimed.

“We want to make sure that if we’re identifying a problem, it truly is a problem and investing and fixing that problem is going to have a measurable impact and results that are going to deliver to the taxpayer and the motorist,” he said.

Riggs says truck drivers who don’t need to be in downtown Indianapolis have the option of taking I-465, as INDOT continues to invest in that route.

“We’ve also invested in travel time signs and dynamic overhead message signs to try and give people, give motorists, the freight truck drivers real time information, so they can be making those informed decisions about the fastest and most efficient route,” Riggs said.

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