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INDIANAPOLIS--You will soon be able to drive I-70 and I-65 all the way through Indianapolis again. The renovation to the “north split” is nearly complete and the Indiana Dept. of Transportation is also closer to completing the project to connect I-69 from Evansville to Indianapolis.

“We’ll be the crossroads of America again, right?” said Mike Smith, commissioner of INDOT, on Inside Indiana Business. “This is a heavy freight corridor. We’ve got to get freight in the city, through the city, across the nation. That’s what we’re trying to accomplish with this project.”

Weather permitting, I-70 should be open by Jan. 15, he said. The I-65 portion should be open by April.

Smith said inflation and delays may have increased the cost of the project.

“Just as other industries have faced over the last 18 months, really getting supplies, parts, materials, keeping our equipment going with the challenges that we’ve had, has really been an issue, and then the tightness of the labor market,” he said.

He described the project as complex, adding that the contractors who actually do the work have incentives to get the work done on time, and penalties for delays.

INDOT recently completed another portion of I-69, opening the section from Martinsville into Johnson County at Indiana 144, which is being converted from State Route 37 into true interstate. They are now working on overpasses and exits in Marion County to truly connect both cities.

“The focus will really turn to Marion County, south side of Indianapolis and that connection with 465 as we look to complete the I-69 corridor.”