<October 17th, 2013> INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Mike Pence announces that Interstates 65 and 70 between the north and south split are reopening to traffic tonight—more than two weeks ahead of an already aggressive schedule. Southbound traffic is now open and contractors expect to open the northbound side before midnight.
“Closing interstate highways is hard on everybody, and Hoosiers are to be commended for their patience and cooperation during the I-65/I-70 South Split Project,” Governor Pence said. “On behalf of the people of Indiana, I express my appreciation for the hard work and professionalism of the Indiana Department of Transportation and its contractors for completing these needed public safety improvements ahead of schedule and under budget.”
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) had contractors compete over closure days for the South Split project, which was originally estimated to last 90 days and cost up to $20 million. Milestone Contractors bid $12.4 million construction cost with 59 closure days, and further expedited construction to receive incentives of $60,000 per day.
INDOT has posted a brief message from District Deputy Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson on YouTube thanking the public for their patience and support during the interstate closure.
Video captured with Purdue University showed oversize loads striking South Split bridges with increasing frequency and severity. Following an interstate closure in February for emergency repairs to a cracked bridge beam, INDOT set an accelerated course for the South Split project to address public safety concerns. Interstates 65 and 70 between the north and south split were closed on Sept. 3 to rebuild and lower the pavement, raising clearances beneath seven South Split bridges.
“A shared sense of urgency among the City of Indianapolis, the Federal Highway Administration and our contractors expedited project development and construction,” Hendrickson said. “INDOT recognizes and appreciates the swift work of Milestone Contractors, Parsons Transportation Group, United Consultants, Cardno TBE, Continental Mapping and Earth Exploration.”
Motorists should expect alternating lane restrictions on I-65 and I-70 until approximately 6 a.m. as contractors return signage and pavement markings to their original configuration. Contractors will also restrict various traffic lanes on city streets for short periods of time to adjust signage.
Next year INDOT plans to rebuild and raise the clearance of the East Street Bridge over I-70, while keeping both open to traffic. Even with the increased clearances at the South Split, INDOT reminds all drivers to follow safety requirements by securing and measuring all loads, obtaining permits for loads higher than 13 feet 6 inches and following designated routes for oversize vehicles.
Motorists, businesses and residents are encouraged to stay informed on the South Split project by visiting http://www.southsplit.in.gov and signing up to receive email updates using the red GovDelivery envelope icon.More photos and videos are posted to INDOT’s social media pages for East Central Indiana, which includes Indianapolis. Project posts are tagged with #SouthSplit on the Indiana Department of Transportation East Central Facebook page and on Twitter @INDOT_ECentral.