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Workers on I-465

Source: WISH-TV / other

INDIANAPOLIS — You may have found it difficult to travel through the east side of Indianapolis with the closure of southbound lanes of I-465 in the last couple of weeks.

INDOT is conducting patching and maintenance work on the old interstate to extend its lifespan, which they say is necessary to shut down the whole portion of the interstate from I-70 on the east side to I-65 on the south side.

“It’s for safety,” said INDOT spokeswoman Kyleigh Cramer. “It’s safety for patching these potholes so people get to and from their destination safely. It’s so (drivers) don’t have to be in a construction zone, and it’s for the safety of the crews.”

Cramer said closing the interstate entirely allows workers to get the work done much faster. She said this is the most intensive repair project on this section of I-465 since it was widened in 1999.

Even though the work is necessary, it has caused plenty of headaches for people trying to get to and from wherever they need to go. Much of the traffic is being rerouted downtown on I-70 and then to I-65 south through the north split. Other drivers are taking to city streets too.

“It’s been chaotic and I’ve been late for work maybe twice,” said Christian Paez, an Indianapolis man working in landscaping. “From property to property I have to find new routes because all of this stuff is closed down.”

“It’s just what they gotta do. We gotta get our roads better,” said Casey Cornelius, another Indianapolis driver. “The roads are pretty bad right now. Thankful for the guys out there doing the work but it sucks for us.”

INDOT said workers are on schedule to have all the patch and repair work done by their predetermined deadline of June 21st. After the southbound lanes reopen workers will have a three-week break, and then they will do the same patchwork for the interstate in the same area for the northbound lanes for about the same amount of time.