INDIANAPOLIS - A number of trucks clearly not making local deliveries are ignoring signs telling drivers to go around the city while crews shut down the interstate between the North and South splits for two months, said the state department of transportation.
Those traveling through Indiana on interstates 65 and 70 over the next couple of months are supposed to take a detour around Indianapolis, as the interstates are completely closed where they merge between the North and South splits.
Through traffic is supposed to detour by drivers taking Interstate 465 around the construction, joining back up with the interstate they need.
INDOT told RTV6 instead, a large number of semis and trucks are coming downtown on Interstate 65 and then before the closure, are getting on the “collector” road that takes vehicles from I-65 South to various downtown exits.
INDOT said these truck drivers are under the mistaken belief that they can get around the South Split closure on the collector – but they can’t.
So, INDOT said, they are forced to get off at the last collector exit at Fletcher Avenue. They then get stuck on city streets that were not built to handle that volume of traffic.
INDOT said the trucks are tending to take Fletcher to Shelby Street, then Shelby Street south to Fountain Square, where they get on Prospect/Morris Street and take it back to I-65, where they can get back on the highway south of the South Split.
INDOT said in doing this, the trucks have to make wide turns in Fountain Square – turns that the roads there were not built for. This is causing traffic problems in Fountain Square and safety issues with all the pedestrians in the popular area.
Officials said they hope this problem will lessen to some extent as truckers begin to realize they don’t have a good alternative to taking I-465 around the construction.
INDOT said some of the truckers don’t speak English and may not understand the signs, but many are just drivers who will do just about anything to avoid going around the project on I-465.
INDOT said there are also reports of pavement in Fountain Square being torn up because of the heavy trucks driving through the area.