INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will devote roughly $14 million to help repair Indianapolis streets and sidewalks damaged by vehicles detouring around North Split construction.
WRTV’s Investigation “Detour Damage” showed how the North Split construction project is taking its toll — detouring cars and trucks are causing damage to city streets, light poles and crosswalks.
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INDOT Commissioner Mike Smith responded to questions from WRTV Investigates in a news conference on May 12.
“In terms of kind of detour routes and taking care of local networks, I think it's about $14 million that we plan to invest to repair local streets,” said Smith. “West Street is one of those streets that received a lot of that detour traffic. So, we are going to spend a lot of time repairing some of those roads and bringing them back to good condition."
Contractor crews will begin work this summer.
According to INDOT, they will improve conditions on various local street segments adjacent to the North Split project area beginning this summer and continuing through the 2024 construction season.
LIST OF STREETS TO BE REPAIRED: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/INDOT/bulletins/35c239a
INDOT has already fixed a concrete wheelchair ramp at the intersection of Washington and Rural.
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Instead of using the I-465 detour around North Split construction, WRTV Investigates found cars and trucks opted to use city streets instead—and the extra traffic caused damage to city streets and city property.
Semi-trucks also took out light poles on numerous occasions.
Businesses say they saw an increase in traffic backups and crashes during the North Split construction.
As WRTV Investigates reported, the City of Indianapolis is conducting an analysis of the damage and gathering a cost estimate—which will then be shared with INDOT, who will be on the hook for at least part of the repair costs.
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In addition to local street repairs, the North Split project will enhance nearby neighborhoods by improving bicycle and pedestrian connectivity through wider sidewalks and modern lighting, promote neighborhood identity with visual enhancements, and create an urban forest with the planting of thousands of trees throughout the project area, according to a release from INDOT.
The North Split interchange recently reopened to traffic following a nearly two-year closure for construction that began in June 2021.