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The I-65/70 North Split Reconstruction

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Could something like this work on the 65/70 thru Downtown?



--- Quote from: ibthebigd on August 13, 2020, 07:47:32 PM ---
Could something like this work on the 65/70 thru Downtown?


--- End quote ---

Interesting idea, but I see some obstacles.

First is cost. Prices for land in and around downtown Indy aren't nearly as high as Atlanta or Boston (mentioned in the linked article). Other places where highways have been built underground include Dallas (Klyde Warren Park), DC (I-395 under the Capitol grounds), and Minneapolis (between Loring Park and the Walker). All would have been impossible to build above ground or were moved underground for political reasons. A more recent example in St Louis (connecting Luther Ely Smith Park to the Arch grounds) was to facilitate pedestrian access between downtown and the Arch, much needed due to the many events on the Arch grounds (especially the Fair St Louis/ VP Fair every July 4th) and which was mostly paid for by fundraising efforts rather than tax dollars/ highway funds for a park over a freeway that was already in a trench through downtown.

The second is practicality. There looks to be a railroad which may or may not follow Pogue's Run at Ohio Street. A cut-and-cover tunnel would have to account for both Pogue's Run and the railroad. The creek means the water table is probably close to the surface the tunnels need to be well-sealed and monitored. It would be below ground with no easy way to drain, so you'd need pumps for those Midwestern summer cloudbursts as any heavy rains could temporarily close the tunnel. The other railroads near Maryland are elevated so are not an issue. All this would drive up the cost even more, though hopefully not close to Big Dig costs on a per mile basis.

There may be other reasons to not bury the highway, but this is just off the top of my head. The solution here wouldn't be a simple tunnel through a hill like Minneapolis or an already trenched highway like St Louis. The flat land in downtown Indy (I've visited and walked around the area. It's glacial lakebed flat.) is probably why the freeways around its downtown are elevated in the first place. My quick perusal of the area showed not a single trenched freeway anywhere around Indianapolis. I have seen highway tunnels in really flat areas (often around airports like South Howell in Milwaukee or Sepulveda at LAX) but those were driven by other factors.  Putting green space over a highway is great when it can be done (and should be done to complete the US 71 gap in Kansas City), but I don't see it as a realistic solution.

The stretch of I-65/I-70 from Virginia Avenue to just north of Fletcher Avenue theoretically could be capped since it is already below street level and I'm sure there's a few in Fletcher Place/Fountain Square that might like that. But north of there you run into the Pogue's Run/railroad issue and practicality goes out the window.

the project starts 11/30/20

michigan st ramp to close for a year! ohio st will stay open until michigan is finished, then ohio will close for a year. fletcher ramp will be closed for 2 yrs. pine st will stay open the whole time.

65/70 will close for 2 years starting may 2021

Major construction has begun with the Michigan St. ramp closed. the bridge has been demoed and it looks like new piles are being driven for a new bridge. Meanwhile traffic is shifted on 65 around Central Ave. for what appears to be for the same thing. Whole interchange is set to close this spring!


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