The INDOT Direction

We agree with INDOT that eventually the aging I-65/I-70 infrastructure must be replaced. However, we have concerns about INDOT’s direction for rebuilding. Their current direction would widen the lanes that cut through the north, east and south sides of downtown Indianapolis. To do this, INDOT would erect 25-to-30-foot walls around most of downtown. The effect on commerce and livability would be devastating. 

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The Inner Loop Today

Our capital city was designed to be a connected, livable grid system. But in the 1960s, a new system of interstates cut through downtown. The I-65/I-70 inner loop divided historic neighborhoods, drove out residents and local businesses, and accelerated urban sprawl. As President Eisenhower himself said, this type of project went directly against the original vision for American highways. 


The INDOT Direction

The current INDOT direction risks worsening this problem. Although the reconstruction would stay within the state’s right-of-way, it involves expanding highway lanes and adding massive walls. This would eliminate green spaces, create barriers, and discourage economic activity. 

INDOT’s initial plans only address the North Split of I-65 and I-70 known as the “Spaghetti Bowl.” But once construction begins, the widened lanes and new structures will dictate the direction for the rest of the inner loop.

INDOT has not provided drawings of their current direction. This visualization is based on INDOT’s 2016 line drawings, which chart the course for the project.


INDOT plans to establish its direction for reconstruction with the Federal Highway Administration in the Fall of 2018, at that point it will become increasingly difficult and costly to change the direction of this massive project.

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