INDOT Lightens Up On Super 70 Ramp Closures

Officials To Keep 3 More Ramps Open During Parts Of Project

Because of concerns from businesses and residents, an Interstate 70 reconstruction project will feature fewer ramp closures than previously planned, the Indiana Department of Transportation said Monday.

The Super 70 project still will close many exit and entrance ramps along a 6-mile stretch of I-70 on Indianapolis' east side -- including most at Keystone, Emerson and Shadeland avenues -- from February through November.

However, in a change from the initial plan, INDOT will allow the ramps from eastbound I-70 to Keystone and from southbound I-465 to Shadeland to remain open from February to July.

The change also will allow the ramp from westbound I-70 to Shadeland to be open from July to November.

INDOT said it made the changes after listening to area residents and businesses, 6News' Norman Cox reported.

"Through a series of meetings where we listened and they talked, we found out that access to Shadeland Avenue and access to Keystone were very important to them," INDOT spokesman Andy Dietrick said. "So, we weighed the issues of safety and mobility and found that we could make some alterations to the original plan."

The new plan retains the other ramp closures that were put in the initial plan. (See Revised Ramp Closures List)

Gary Wilson, manager of a Circle K convenience store on Shadeland, said the new plan will help. He has been worried that the closures would keep I-70 drivers from reaching the business.

"With the access being open a little bit, we feel that it will help us out some," Wilson said.

Other Details Of The Project

INDOT said the $175 million project will replace pavement and 28 bridge decks, widen the highway's inside shoulders, provide new signs and lighting, and create an overpass at Sherman Drive to improve visibility and drainage. I-70 currently passes underneath Sherman Drive.

The department said the project is necessary because of safety concerns. The pavement and bridge decks along the 6-mile stretch are deteriorating, the inside shoulders are too narrow, motorists have trouble seeing around curves, and vertical clearance at many bridges are too low, INDOT said.

Lanes will be restricted during the major-construction phase from February through November -- one side of the highway will remain open throughout the project to handle traffic heading both ways. Construction will happen on the westbound lanes from February to July, and work will be done on the eastbound lanes from July to November.

The project won't include any additional lanes, though. That type of work is expected to happen in about 10 years.

Preliminary work on the 6-mile stretch, with lane restrictions only at night and on weekends, started last year. Finishing work, with no major lane restrictions, is expected to be performed from March 2008 to June 2008.

INDOT will hold six open-house meetings to explain the plan to the public. The schedule is:

  • Jan. 17: Indianapolis Marriott East, 7202 E. 21st St., 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Jan. 24: IPS School 68, 2107 N. Riley Ave., 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Jan. 31: Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, 2349-51 N. Keystone Way, 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Feb. 3: Indianapolis Marriott East, 7202 E. 21st St., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Feb. 7: IPS School 68, 2107 N. Riley Ave., 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Feb. 13: Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, 2349-51 N. Keystone Way, 4 to 8 p.m.
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