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INDIANAPOLIS– As INDOT moves ahead with plans to redesign the interchange of interstates 65 and 70 north of downtown, one group from Indianapolis is asking them to rethink their vision.

The Rethink 65/70 Coalition presented alternative plans and a study Monday evening at the Indiana Landmark Center. 

Portions of the North Split are 50 years old. The state is still in the planning stages, but INDOT said it  plans to replace damaged pavement, improve safety and reduce traffic congestion. The project would cost more than $225 million. 

INDOT said its current vision, known as “Alternative 4c,” would make road curves safer, improve the 65/70 merge and eliminate two major bottlenecks on the west leg. That plan also calls for a slightly elevated interstate. 

The coalition, on the other hand, is advocating for what it describes as a “depressed interstate” with some lanes lower than others. The lower lanes are designed for drivers who are not getting exits into downtown. 

Paul Knapp of the Rethink 65/70 Coalition said the group’s plan would also use less space than the INDOT plan, leaving more room for parks or economic development. 

“If you’re looking at downtown to continue to be an economic engine for not only Indianapolis but for the state of Indiana, then you ought to be paying attention,” Knapp said. 

Knapp said the group has not determined a price tag for the “depressed interstate” plan. 

INDOT said it is still finalizing plans and will review Rethink 65/70 Coalition’s findings moving forward. 

The coalition hired Arup, a design firm, in late August to advise on the project. According to a study present by Rethink 65/70 Monday night, there could be up to 10 million square feet of residential and office development along the interstate. 

Knapp said INDOT was invited to the presentation but declined.

The coalition on Monday also called for no additional through lanes and no above-grade walls. INDOT’s current plan does not include additional through lanes.