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Detours, closures and construction zones, oh my!

Construction season is here, and this year it's a lot.
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Posted at 8:57 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 21:03:38-04

INDIANAPOLIS — If you live in downtown Indianapolis or must drive through it for any reason, you’ve probably gotten stuck in a traffic jam or rerouted to a construction-caused detour.

For the past few weeks, it feels like the construction season has gone into hyperactive mode.

“I actually have to leave my house like 25 minutes early just to get to work,” Niyyinnah Ridle, who lives and works downtown said.

“It is very time consuming and difficult to navigate,” one driver said.

Ben Easley with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works said there are several projects leading to the congestion in the downtown core.

“That is certainly bigger than one agency, certainly bigger than roadwork. There is also plenty of permits that various developers can get to close just a lane here or there to do work on specific buildings,” Easley said.

The major projects that DPW has in progress right now include Market Street between Alabama and Delaware, Market Street between Illinois and the circle, and a project on Delaware from Maryland to Vermont Street. The rest of the construction closures and lane changes are due to other development and work happening in the city not related to DPW.

“A lot of people who are coming downtown and they are on a local road, and they see extra traffic and they think is this a DPW issue? They need to understand that it is multiple agencies and often times it is private developers as well that are pulling those permits to close one road or put a lane restriction in place or something like that,” Easley explained.

Pennsylvania Avenue is closed near Banker's Life Fieldhouse where construction is underway. There is also lane configuration along Ohio Street due to a project.

The Department of Business and Neighborhood Services manages the permitting process. Easley said they work with that department to make sure there are no overlapping detours.

However, some drivers do feel like there is more construction this season than in years past.

“It’s happening all at the same time. It’s a lot,” Ridle said.

Another major factor adding to the downtown traffic congestion is the North Split closure. Several detours are driving highway traffic into the city.

“Kind of sucks with all the 18 wheelers and everything, but kind of doing my best,” Connor Shanahan said, who drives through the downtown often.

To keep up to date with the North Split closure and detour changes you can click here.

Easley hopes people realize that the construction is a sign of progress.

“The thing that I would remind folks is that construction season, that is the warmer months when you can do construction, so you do see more orange barrels at this time of year but it does mean that we are doing the construction projects that provide better roads for the people of Indianapolis,” Easley said.