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INDOT explains why highway styles may look different in each county

Local counties give input on style
Posted at 11:30 PM, Jan 14, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — In the Crossroads of America, interstates come in different sizes, directions, and traffic patterns. But do some Central Indiana roads come with a fancier feel in certain parts in town?

"If you are a southside resident or even an east side resident, or southwest side resident, it's pretty standard stuff, but when you go up to the north side, the artistic feel, is a lot more beautiful," Zach Huffman said.

Indianapolis resident Zach Huffman lives on the south side of Indianapolis, the same area where the I-69 connection to Evansville is being built. He was hoping some of the artistic beauty that marks cities like Fishers and Martinsville would make its way into Marion County.

"Indianapolis is the Crossroads of America. It would be amazing to see all of the overpasses especially in Marion County to look beautiful and have some sort of decoration to them. Something that makes the city inviting. Make the city look good," Huffman said.

If you ask Huffman the north side of Indianapolis gets extra care while other parts of town get the short end of the stick from INDOT. But INDOT says that's the not case.

A spokesperson says while INDOT is a state agency, each county gives input on what kind of decor they want on the interstate and Marion County opted for a standard uniform look, which is why that signature decor is only seen outside of the county line.

A spokesperson for Indianapolis DPW says the county prefers less decorative frills because, while the interstate is run by INDOT, the optional decorations and maintenance are often paid for by the local county. While understanding the financials, Huffman, a Southsider would like to see some of the style from north of Indianapolis make its way to his backyard.

"There is a different feel to that, than the I-65/465 interchange. That's like, hey, We've got you a new bridge, it looks good. 31 and 465 it's like, Hey! Here's a new bridge and we jazzed it up a little bit for you too, so it looks good."

In the case of I-69, the window for hearing public comment on the design of the project has closed. DPW encourages residents to stay involved and give their public input during the design stages of road projects