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Why is the North Split reconstruction about to happen and what will change?

Why the North split reconstruction is happening and what's going to change
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Posted at 7:00 AM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 12:31:08-04

INDIANAPOLIS — You've been warned and now one of Indiana's busiest interchanges is closed for the next year-and-a-half.

Drivers have been preparing for weeks for this major reconstruction project, so let's break down what is happening at the heart of the Crossroads of America.

First, the significance of this work.

As WRTV previously reported, after years of talk, the North Split is finally getting a face-lift. The North Split as we see it today was constructed more than 50 years ago and is nearing the end of its lifespan.

The North Split project will replace or repair 32 bridges over 3.1 miles of highway.

The new interchange will have a smaller footprint and work to eliminate the crisscrossing and weaving of traffic as Interstates 65 and 70 merge together.

You are probably familiar with darting across lanes of traffic if you are northbound on I-65 trying to get off at Meridian and Pennsylvania streets. The new traffic flow aims to eliminate these traffic weaves to reduce bottlenecks and improve safety.

Here's what's going away for good.

Traffic on I-70 coming into downtown from the east side will no longer have access to the Pennsylvania Street exit ramp.

Traffic on Delaware Street in downtown hopping onto the entrance ramp to I-65 southbound or the collector will be no more.

As for this weekend, the southbound lanes of Interstates 65 and 70 between the North Split and Washington Street are set to close Saturday, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation. The full closure of the North Split will begin Sunday.

The entire project, if on schedule, should be complete in November 2022.

NORTH SPLIT COVERAGE | The North Split will close this weekend for 18 months. Here's what that means for Indianapolis traffic. | DETOURS: How to get around the 18-month North Split closure | Fact Check Friday: Why wasn't the North Split project moved up? | Homeowners near North Split fear damage as their houses shake during construction | Interstate 70 lanes east of North Split will shift Thursday for reconstruction project | The North Split will close in mid-May for 18 months. Here's what that means for your commute. | Michigan Street ramp will close Monday as part of North Split project | Almost time: North Split construction to begin in mid-December | 'Under the highway': How interstates divided Indianapolis neighborhoods and displaced 17,000 people