In September 2017, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced plans to study the reconstruction of the North Split – the existing interchange where I-65 and I-70 meet on the northeast side of downtown Indianapolis. As part of that study, INDOT began work on an Environmental Assessment (EA), as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Media coverage was widespread and stakeholder meetings were well-attended. And community interest has continued to grow during the past six months.
Nearly all stakeholders agree the North Split interchange and the 32 bridges within the project footprint are deteriorating and in need of repair. But some question whether just rebuilding the interchange is the right solution. Based on feedback from several community organizations, INDOT agreed to broaden the study, and is now developing and screening alternatives in a two-step screening process.
Step 1 is a System Level screening considering alternatives to improve the full downtown interstate system. The System Level screening will confirm or redefine project-level alternatives for the North Split Project.
Step 2 is a Project Level screening of alternatives to determine what will be evaluated in detail in the North Split Project environmental study. The completion of this two-step process will guide INDOT’s next steps for the North Split interchange.
Regardless of what the screening process reveals, the project must meet the following transportation needs:
- Correct deteriorated bridge conditions
- Correct deteriorated pavement conditions
- Improve interchange operations
- Reduce traffic congestion
- Improve safety
Throughout this two-step screening process and the completion of the EA, INDOT is committed to a robust public involvement effort. Several advisory committees – including Section 106 Consulting Parties, Resource Agencies and a Community Advisory Committee – will meet throughout the process to provide critical feedback.
Together we’ll move forward with a plan that meets the project’s needs and improves overall mobility, livability and economic vitality of the downtown area.