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Ramp metering traffic signals, variable speed limits coming to I-465

Changes will improve safety and traffic flow, INDOT says
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Posted at 1:37 PM, Nov 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-14 14:53:19-05

INDIANAPOLIS — By the end of the year, some drivers will have to stop for a red light before they merge onto I-465.

The ramp metering signals are part of a new project that will improve safety and traffic flow, said Natalie Garrett, strategic communications director for the Indiana Department of Transportation.

"The goal here is to to help traffic merge onto 465 more efficiently and safely," Garrett said. "The goals are reducing crashes, optimizing travel time (and) alleviating congestion."

This is the first time Indiana has used ramp meters, but Garrett said these signals are more common on busy Chicago-area highways.

The ramp meters are being installed at all five entrances between I-65 and I-70 on the southeastern stretch of I-465.

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INDOT is installing ramp meetering traffic signals at five I-465 on-ramps between I-65 and I-70. This same stretch of highway is also getting new variable speed limit signs.

What is ramp metering?

Ramp meters are just traffic lights on the side of an on-ramp designed to space out the number of cars merging onto I-465 when traffic is heavy.

Drivers will see warning signs telling them to slow down as they approach the signals. The lights will only be red when the highway is busiest, like the morning and evening rush.

Computers and sensors let the devices know when the lights should be green or red, Garrett said.

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Drivers will soon see new ramp metering traffic lights on some I-465 on ramps.

"There will be pavement sensors on the ramp and also on mainline 465," Garrett said. "They'll talk to each other... to let traffic know when to enter 465 from the ramp."

Variable speed limits

INDOT is also installing new variable speed limit signs on I-465 that will lower speeds in 5 mph increments when conditions dictate.

Garrett said these digital speed limit signs will be placed about every half-mile on the same southeastern leg of I-465 between I-65 and I-70.

"It gives INDOT the ability to adjust the speed limit in increments of five miles per hour based upon real-time traffic, roadway incidents, work zones, weather, in order to improve safety," Garrett said.

Don't expect these digital signs to ever read above the 55 mph speed limit. Garrett said INDOT only dials down the speeds.

"The goal is to alleviate some of that congestion, you know, potential crashes, things like that," Garrett said. "It's really a safer, smoother commute, especially during those peak travel times that the area tends to get congested."

The ramp meters are being installed now and will be working before the end of the year, Garrett said. The variable speed limit signs will be installed and working next year, she said.

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at or on X/Twitter: @vicryc.