About the Project
What is the I-65/I-70 North Split Project (North Split Project)?
The North Split Project is the reconstruction of the I-65/I-70 North Split interchange in downtown Indianapolis. The project includes repairing deteriorating bridges, upgrading pavement conditions in the area, reducing congestion and improving safety in central Indiana’s busiest interchange.
Why is this happening now?
Portions of the North Split interchange were built 50 years ago, and the infrastructure is in poor condition. Approximately 214,000 vehicles use the North Split interchange each day. It is operating at full capacity and crash rates are higher than statewide averages for urban interstates. Traffic regularly slows or stops during peak travel periods.
What is the purpose of the North Split Project?
The purpose of the North Split Project is to rehabilitate and improve the existing interstate facilities within the project area and reduce or eliminate conditions that contribute to high crash rates and congested conditions.
What needs must the project meet?
The North Split Project will meet the following transportation needs:
- Correct deteriorated bridge conditions
- Correct deteriorated pavement conditions
- Improve safety by eliminating conflict points and realigning curves
- Improve interchange operations and reduce congestion by eliminating bottlenecks
What improvements are being made?
- Interchange – The North Split interchange will be reconfigured and reconstructed – providing both safety and operational improvements.
- Pavement – Existing pavement will be replaced throughout the project area.
- Ramps – Entrance and exit ramps will be replaced and/or reconfigured.
- Bridges – Six bridges will be rehabilitated, and 43 existing bridges will be replaced by 44 new ones.
- Bridges over local streets will be newer, safer and quieter. The underpasses being replaced will receive wider sidewalks and underlighting.
How has the public been involved during the environmental study and design?
INDOT has actively engaged stakeholders and the public since 2017, including public open houses, surveys, neighborhood meetings, one-on-one meetings, group presentations and advisory committee meetings.
The Project Team has held regular update meetings with City of Indianapolis and Indianapolis MPO staff, as well as major downtown employers and Downtown Indy.
Where should complaints about construction be directed?
Those who have comments or questions about construction activities should contact INDOT Customer Service at email@example.com or 1-855-INDOT4U.
Can neighborhoods or civic organizations request a presentation for their meetings?
Yes. Those who would like a presentation about the North Split can contact INDOT Customer Service at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-855-INDOT4U.
What is the final interchange design and why was it chosen?
It is INDOT’s determination that among the alternatives that meet the project purpose and need, Alternative 4c provided the best balance of meeting safety and mobility needs while minimizing or potentially eliminating the need for retaining walls along the legs of the interchange. Alternative 4c does not include added through lanes on the interstates.
When will construction begin?
Preliminary work has already begun, but the most significant construction is scheduled to occur later this year and in 2022. Current construction work is outside the existing roadway area with little disruption to existing traffic patterns.
How long will the North Split interchange be under construction?
Due to the magnitude of the project, two construction seasons (2021 and 2022) will be required to complete the work.
Will crews work overnight?
For work occurring during winter and spring, crews will work overnight (10 p.m. to 5 a.m.) whenever possible to reduce impacts to traffic and causing congestion. Once the next phase of construction begins in May and the interstates through the North Split interchange are closed, crews will work 24 hours a day.
What is the noise mitigation plan during construction?
The contractor is allowed to do work up to a certain noise level until 11 p.m. During nighttime construction, INDOT construction crews monitor the noise levels at the site and create a noise “snapshot” the following morning. Based on those readings, adjustments are made to the type and timing of work to be performed. The project team will continue to monitor noise levels, make adjustments as needed, and work to keep the levels at or below those allowed per contract.
Will any ramps close permanently after construction?
Yes. To reduce the impact of the project on adjacent historic neighborhoods, two movements currently served by the North Split will be eliminated:
- I-70 traffic from the east will no longer have access to the Pennsylvania Street exit ramp.
- The Delaware Street entrance ramp traffic will have no access to I-65 southbound or the collector-distributor (C-D) road serving North Street, Michigan Street, Ohio Street and Fletcher Avenue. Access from Delaware Street to I-70 eastbound will be maintained.
What improvements will be made to local streets in the project area?
The Aesthetic Design Guidelines developed during the Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) public outreach process and the environmental study phase outlined many changes to local streets within the project area. In addition to being newer, safer and quieter, the underpasses being replaced will receive wider sidewalks and underlighting. Other improvements and renderings of the completed bridges are available here.
Where and when will noise barriers be installed?
The following potential noise barriers are recommended for construction:
- NB3E: Westbound I-70, along the edge of the north shoulder from Valley Avenue to Commerce Avenue, near the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood
- NB3W: Westbound I-70, along the edge of the north shoulder from Commerce Avenue to Lewis Street, near the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood
Construction of these noise barriers will occur after the reconstruction of the North Split interchange is substantially complete, likely in late 2022. More information about the noise analysis is available at www.northsplit.com/noise.
What ramps are currently closed? What are the detours?
The ramp southbound C/D ramp to Michigan Street is closed until late May. There is no formal detour, but the C/D ramp to Ohio Street will remain open.
Will local streets be closed?
Yes. Local streets will be closed while bridges over them are being demolished and constructed. No two adjacent streets will be closed at the same time.
Where can I find information about detours or alternate routes?
Detailed information about current closures and detours is available at www.northsplit.com/maps.