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Author Topic: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana  (Read 1334072 times)

tdindy88

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4575 on: December 30, 2022, 10:46:49 AM »


Earlier today BigRigSteve of BigRigTravels drove past the I-69/I-465 system interchange work zone. The pertinent part of the video begins at 2:00:15. Of note, pile driving has commenced for the future bridges.


I drove through there on the 28th. You could see the piles, and if you look farther south to see the grading. I couldn't get pictures because of the traffic.

Speaking of which, I-465 between I-70 to past I-74 was just clobbered Wednesday around 4:30-5. I know it's rush hour, but this is a holiday week where commuting travel tends to be low. Is this a consistent slowdown area, and won't I-69 just add to the problems there?

I was also

It's the North Split construction project going on in Downtown Indianapolis. I-70 (and I-65) traffic are closed there and you can't travel through the city. Therefore all the thru traffic, especially for I-70 has to detour onto the southern part of I-465. And while it's not officially signed a lot of the I-65 thru traffic also pass through the same stretch of roadway. So basically the vast majority of all thru traffic along both I-65 and I-70 across the state of Indiana are currently being funneled through the six-lane I-465 on the south side along with the normal I-74 traffic. But this is what happens when you're the Crossroads of America. Rush hours only make it worse.

As for I-69 adding to the problems there, probably not. First of all the North Split should be open soon (we hope) so all that detoured traffic will go back to utilizing I-65 and I-70 through the city. Second of all the improvements to I-465 between I-70 and I-65 in conjunction with the I-69 interchange project will add some lanes along that stretch, increasing capacity. It won't be perfect but the roadway should be able to handle more traffic. And third, there probably won't actually be a huge increase in traffic once the interstate is open. Traffic going from say Fort Wayne to Evansville had been using the south end of I-465 for a long time anyway. Same if you're going from Muncie to Bloomington. And as long as I-69 remains just a regional highway (the going to Texas bit will take a super long time to complete) then the overall traffic patterns should remain localized. Southwest Indiana is not exactly a booming area anyway, the Evansville regional population is basically stagnant with a few spots of growth. Bloomington's better in that regard but it shouldn't make life on I-465 much worse. Basically, the traffic that will be using I-69 were already using I-465 and SR 37 anyway and will obviously continue to do so. And traffic hasn't been too bad with that arrangement, as long as you don't have the North Split closed, that has messed up everything with Indianapolis traffic.
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mgk920

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4576 on: December 30, 2022, 11:39:57 AM »

I-69 will be routed around the eastern part of I-465.

Mike
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jbrocato

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4577 on: December 30, 2022, 04:30:45 PM »

Interesting that Indiana is still not using shields on their distance signs as many states now do.
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RIndy

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4578 on: January 02, 2023, 01:56:05 PM »

Interesting that Indiana is still not using shields on their distance signs as many states now do.


We took a trip to Evansville yesterday, we did see a sign on the newly open section of I-69 going north, on a distant sign, did show I-465 20 miles, plus on Exit 27 the state highway shield 168 is on BGS. I'm guessing Indiana does not use shields on distance signs, just letters and numbers...

Fixed quote. - rmf67
« Last Edit: January 08, 2023, 10:10:15 PM by rickmastfan67 »
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ITB

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4579 on: January 16, 2023, 01:57:58 PM »


For those interested, just a quick mention to note that INDOT has installed livestream cameras all along I-69 between I-465 and the SR 39 interchange in Martinsville. While the resolution of the cameras is low, they cover a very substantial part of the highway.

Access the INDOT Trafficwise cameras here.
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cjw2001

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4580 on: January 17, 2023, 12:04:23 PM »

New INDOT progress update video on the project: 
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Henry

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4581 on: January 19, 2023, 07:26:12 PM »

Always glad to see some progress being made. I'm looking forward to driving the new Evansville-Indianapolis segment once it's complete.
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royo6022

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4582 on: January 20, 2023, 11:03:09 AM »

The INDOT website is saying the project will be complete by "end of 2024". From anyone that has been up to see the current progress in person, what do we think that means? I'm wondering if it will be completed closer to early fall or open up end of December.
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Life in Paradise

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4583 on: January 20, 2023, 01:17:41 PM »

The INDOT website is saying the project will be complete by "end of 2024". From anyone that has been up to see the current progress in person, what do we think that means? I'm wondering if it will be completed closer to early fall or open up end of December.
My guess is everything except the final 1-2 miles will be done in 2023.  At least that is what I expect from seeing the progress this past year and where they are.  Being a bit vague like that probably means to me that they are shooting for perhaps Sept 30 of next year, but giving themselves another 3 months in case of terrible weather.
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jakeroot

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4584 on: January 20, 2023, 07:58:01 PM »

There is something very satisfying about watching an at-grade expressway become a freeway; all the new bridges and underpasses, new ramps, etc. There's also the increased speed limit and the reduction in crashes related to at-grade intersections. It's all very satisfying. INDOT has done a very nice job with this new freeway, I really like the interchange designs and how it ties into the local road network. I would be curious what the local farmers and landowners think, but I'd imagine the overall reception has been decently positive.

JREwing78

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4585 on: January 20, 2023, 08:27:10 PM »

There is something very satisfying about watching an at-grade expressway become a freeway; all the new bridges and underpasses, new ramps, etc. There's also the increased speed limit and the reduction in crashes related to at-grade intersections. It's all very satisfying. INDOT has done a very nice job with this new freeway, I really like the interchange designs and how it ties into the local road network. I would be curious what the local farmers and landowners think, but I'd imagine the overall reception has been decently positive.

Very reminiscent of the late '80s and early '90s watching MDOT slowly replace the old M-78 4-lane divided-highway with the modern new I-69 around the Lansing, MI area.
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Rick Powell

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4586 on: January 20, 2023, 08:44:45 PM »

There is something very satisfying about watching an at-grade expressway become a freeway; all the new bridges and underpasses, new ramps, etc. There's also the increased speed limit and the reduction in crashes related to at-grade intersections. It's all very satisfying. INDOT has done a very nice job with this new freeway, I really like the interchange designs and how it ties into the local road network. I would be curious what the local farmers and landowners think, but I'd imagine the overall reception has been decently positive.
Other than the environmentally-minded, most of the opposition to I-69 came from the Bloomington area and land owners and others on the new alignment section between Evansville and Bloomington. New alignments are most always a harder sell due to something new being plopped onto people's property. If the project had consisted of improving IN 37 between Bloomington and Indy only, I would guess there'd have been little opposition. Getting rid of stoplights, increasing safety, and increasing mobility in an existing corridor is usually well received other than the grumbling during construction about detours, business access, etc.
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ITB

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4587 on: January 21, 2023, 09:13:47 AM »

The INDOT website is saying the project will be complete by "end of 2024". From anyone that has been up to see the current progress in person, what do we think that means? I'm wondering if it will be completed closer to early fall or open up end of December.

It seems to me heavy construction will taper more towards the end of 2024, rather than earlier. Remember, in addition to building the I-69/I-465 system interchange, I-465 will be receiving an added lane in each direction between I-65 and I-70. That in itself is a tremendous project. They are really just getting started. Now, of course, it's possible the I-69 system interchange may open prior to the completion of the added lanes, but, at this time, it's way too early to guesstimate about that.
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abqtraveler

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4588 on: January 21, 2023, 08:39:25 PM »

The INDOT website is saying the project will be complete by "end of 2024". From anyone that has been up to see the current progress in person, what do we think that means? I'm wondering if it will be completed closer to early fall or open up end of December.

It seems to me heavy construction will taper more towards the end of 2024, rather than earlier. Remember, in addition to building the I-69/I-465 system interchange, I-465 will be receiving an added lane in each direction between I-65 and I-70. That in itself is a tremendous project. They are really just getting started. Now, of course, it's possible the I-69 system interchange may open prior to the completion of the added lanes, but, at this time, it's way too early to guesstimate about that.
To that point about widening I-465, it's not just adding a lane to the outside of each side; rather they will be completely reconstructing the south leg between I-65 and I-70. That will include replacing every bridge and overpass, reconfiguring multiple interchanges, and digging up the existing roadbed and placing a new roadbed before the widened I-465 is completed. The work they'll be doing will be similar to what was done on the eastern and western legs of I-465 about 15-20 years ago.
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tdindy88

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4589 on: January 21, 2023, 10:09:28 PM »

Almost every bridge anyway, the railroad bridge east of Madison Avenue suspiciously has not and is not being replaced. And it looks like a fairly old bridge. I noticed on social media that people keep on asking about it and the Finish Line people have not given an answer as to why that bridge isn't being replaced. With the current bridge in place they can barely fit one more lane, which will be an auxiliary lane between the US 31 and I-65 exits, so there won't be four thru lanes as there will be west of US 31.

I've wondered too about that railroad bridge. I'm guessing the railroad company is playing hardball with INDOT and the state feels that it's not worth it. I'm not sure if anyone else knew an exact reason for that as all the other bridges along that stretch were rebuilt and widened to fit more lanes of I-465.

Furthermore, I wouldn't even be that mad if the I-465 part of the construction extended into 2025. With work on the I-69/465 interchange already well underway I imagine completing the connection by the end of 2024 is very doable.
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Rick Powell

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4590 on: January 22, 2023, 11:21:12 PM »

I've wondered too about that railroad bridge. I'm guessing the railroad company is playing hardball with INDOT and the state feels that it's not worth it. I'm not sure if anyone else knew an exact reason for that as all the other bridges along that stretch were rebuilt and widened to fit more lanes of I-465.

One thing I have noted in my long transportation career is that every railroad bridge agreement is its own animal. Some bridges are owned by the railroad, a few by the state or local highway agency, and the details for maintenance and replacement run all over the place. It would likely be a lot easier to get a design exception for narrow shoulders through the railroad bridge than to completely reconstruct it, and who knows what is in the old agreement that might be a challenge to fund it or reconstruct it. Railroad bridges also tend to hold up longer than highway bridges, lending to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. Even highway agencies can't come to agreement sometimes; years ago during a corridor reconstruction, the Oakland Avenue bridge over I-55/74 in Bloomington IL was left intact rather than replaced because the state and county couldn't come to agreement on the design and maintenance. Until it got repainted recently, it stuck out as an eyesore in an otherwise modern corridor, for those who were looking.
https://tinyurl.com/h3hrrdw8
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RIndy

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4591 on: January 23, 2023, 06:08:01 AM »

Almost every bridge anyway, the railroad bridge east of Madison Avenue suspiciously has not and is not being replaced. And it looks like a fairly old bridge. I noticed on social media that people keep on asking about it and the Finish Line people have not given an answer as to why that bridge isn't being replaced. With the current bridge in place they can barely fit one more lane, which will be an auxiliary lane between the US 31 and I-65 exits, so there won't be four thru lanes as there will be west of US 31.

I've wondered too about that railroad bridge. I'm guessing the railroad company is playing hardball with INDOT and the state feels that it's not worth it. I'm not sure if anyone else knew an exact reason for that as all the other bridges along that stretch were rebuilt and widened to fit more lanes of I-465.

Furthermore, I wouldn't even be that mad if the I-465 part of the construction extended into 2025. With work on the I-69/465 interchange already well underway I imagine completing the connection by the end of 2024 is very doable.
My guess INDOT will do what they did for 9th Avenue bridge east of 65 and before Emerson exit shift lanes use the emergency lanes for the needed lanes.
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silverback1065

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4592 on: January 23, 2023, 09:19:06 AM »

when dealing with railroads, it's best to leave them alone  :-D they are very difficult to work with and work on their own schedule. i think this is why rail bridges tend to look very old and dilapidated  :-D no one wants to mess with them. 
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ITB

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4593 on: January 23, 2023, 01:01:06 PM »


Here's two views of the bridge in question:


Google Maps/Streetview


INDOT TrafficWise Camera

And here's one of the I-465/SR 37 interchange. Seems exiting traffic to 37 is regularly backing up, frequently snarling traffic in general on eastbound I-465.


INDOT TrafficWise Camera
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roadman65

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4594 on: January 23, 2023, 01:07:00 PM »

when dealing with railroads, it's best to leave them alone  :-D they are very difficult to work with and work on their own schedule. i think this is why rail bridges tend to look very old and dilapidated  :-D no one wants to mess with them. 

Thatís why I-885 took forever to build in NC. Thanks to CSX Transportation for them being so slow. Plus having federal protection ( as railroads are more of a federal entity than a state) donít help the state governments when running into snag with them.  Iím sure BNSF or NS ainít no better to deal with either.
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silverback1065

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4595 on: January 23, 2023, 03:08:06 PM »

when dealing with railroads, it's best to leave them alone  :-D they are very difficult to work with and work on their own schedule. i think this is why rail bridges tend to look very old and dilapidated  :-D no one wants to mess with them. 

Thatís why I-885 took forever to build in NC. Thanks to CSX Transportation for them being so slow. Plus having federal protection ( as railroads are more of a federal entity than a state) donít help the state governments when running into snag with them.  Iím sure BNSF or NS ainít no better to deal with either.

That's why whenever possible the agency building the road prefers to build a road bridge over the tracks whenever possible  :-D
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abqtraveler

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4596 on: January 23, 2023, 04:19:42 PM »


Here's two views of the bridge in question:


Google Maps/Streetview


INDOT TrafficWise Camera

And here's one of the I-465/SR 37 interchange. Seems exiting traffic to 37 is regularly backing up, frequently snarling traffic in general on eastbound I-465.


INDOT TrafficWise Camera
From the aerial view of that railroad bridge, it looks like there's just enough room to squeeze a fourth lane in each direction under it, but you would lose the right shoulder going under it. For that to be allowed, the FHWA would have to approve a "design exception" since the roadway where it goes under the overpass would no longer meet interstate standards. But...you're talking about 100, maybe 200 feet of roadway in the immediate vicinity of the overpass.
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sprjus4

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4597 on: January 23, 2023, 04:51:32 PM »

^ You could design it standard width, 4 lanes in each direction with full shoulders, then just reduce the shoulder immediately under the bridge. It doesnít need to be reduced for 100-200 ft.
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Rick Powell

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4598 on: January 23, 2023, 11:50:32 PM »

^ You could design it standard width, 4 lanes in each direction with full shoulders, then just reduce the shoulder immediately under the bridge. It doesnít need to be reduced for 100-200 ft.
A hazard wouldn't be allowed to jut out suddenly into a shoulder on an interstate. A gradual taper, narrowing the shoulder width on the approach side, is often several hundred feet in length, depending on the approach speed and how much the width is being reduced. Likewise, if lanes are shifted to accommodate a reduced shoulder width, there will be a gradual transition for safety.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 11:56:10 PM by Rick Powell »
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silverback1065

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #4599 on: January 24, 2023, 08:18:28 AM »

^ You could design it standard width, 4 lanes in each direction with full shoulders, then just reduce the shoulder immediately under the bridge. It doesnít need to be reduced for 100-200 ft.
A hazard wouldn't be allowed to jut out suddenly into a shoulder on an interstate. A gradual taper, narrowing the shoulder width on the approach side, is often several hundred feet in length, depending on the approach speed and how much the width is being reduced. Likewise, if lanes are shifted to accommodate a reduced shoulder width, there will be a gradual transition for safety.

yes, check the MUTCD, i believe the correct distance would be LW i.e. speed of road times the amount of width you will lose. they would probably taper the guardrail along with the shoulder too
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