INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Downtown traffic will come to a stop this fall as the Indiana Department of Transportation increases the height of multiple overpasses.
INDOT announced Wednesday morning it would increase the clearance of seven overpasses along Interstate 65 and Interstate 70 at the South Split.
INDOT reports more than 400 oversized vehicles have struck South Split bridge overpasses since 1999, and the pace has increased in recent years.
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"INDOT's attempts to address these bridge strikes through low-cost measures like advisory signs has not yielded the results we desired," said Deputy Commissioner Jay Wasson. "It's our belief that this project will reduce the probability of the bridge strikes as well as traffic crashes that occur from vehicles suddenly stopping as well as debris falling into the roadway."
The $15 million to $20 million project will include lowering the pavement to increase the clearance of the overpasses. Construction work will close both interstates for up to 90 days beginning in late August or early September.
INDOT will partner with the city of Indianapolis to keep traffic flowing and access open to downtown cultural districts.
"We're going to be able to accommodate this additional traffic that'll be seeking access back to the interstate," said Indianapolis Department of Public Works Director Lori Miser. "So think Michigan, New York, Ohio Street, Washington, West Street. So we'll be accommodating those with signal upgrades, signage, some additional lanes perhaps during the peak periods, and maybe restricting parking."
"It's definitely going to affect traffic a lot," said one woman who lives in Fountain Square.
"You've got to correct those problems to keep Indianapolis going the right direction," said Jeff Sparks, who lives near one of the ramps that will close. "So it'll be a pain, but, you know, no pain no gain."
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