Residents upset over INDOT plans to add highway lanes, not enough sound barriers

Project will add lanes at I-65, I-465

INDIANAPOLIS - Residents on Indy's south side are angry about a proposed construction problem they say will hurt their ears.

As part of "Operation Indy Commute," INDOT is planning to add lanes at Interstate 465 and Interstate 65 on the south side.
"It's a bottleneck fix," said Will Wingfield, spokesman for INDOT.
But neighbors say the added lanes will add traffic and noise.
INDOT plans to include two miles, roughly $3.8 million worth, of sound barriers along the project.
"Some neighborhoods may get them and some may not," said Wingfield.
That decision is angering residents who live in Moss Creek and Lindbergh Highlands, two neighborhoods near I-65 and I-465, some who say INDOT should include sound walls by their homes.
"It's hard to carry on a conversation in our backyard," said Patty Lathrop, a Moss Creek resident of 13 years. "It's going to get very noisy back here."
While Moss Creek was built after I-65, Lindbergh Highlands was in place before the interstate.
"My home was built in 1935," said Tom Maier, a Lindbergh Highlands resident. "Property values the past few years have gone down, and we're hoping to maintain our property values back here."
Residents have gathered more than 250 signatures on a petition requesting sound walls.
Rep. Mike Speedy and Sen. Pat Miller are planning to meet with INDOT on Nov. 1 to try to find a solution.
"My neighbors and I are not sure INDOT has properly applied the right standards affects pre-existing neighborhoods," said Speedy. "There’s a woeful lack of sound walls throughout the corridor."
INDOT said they consider federal guidelines, cost effectiveness and population density, as well as noise studies.
"We're looking at all available avenues to us as we work with the neighborhoods," said Wingfield. "Essentially those neighborhoods that are more densely developed, makes it more cost effective for a noise abatement to be put in place."
The $45 million project is expected to begin construction next year and wrap in 2014.

For more information on the project, click here.

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