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INDIANAPOLIS — As an economy grows, whether it a small town or an entire country, infrastructure needs to grow with it.

That’s the thinking of the Indy Chamber Foundation, who has been given a grant of $475,000 to look into ways the city of Indianapolis and the state can rework the heavily-traveled “inner loop” in downtown Indy. The “inner loop” is the official name of the more commonly known “Collector” where Interstate 65 and Interstate 70 combine into one two-mile-long stretch of interstate.

“This is an opportunity for us to engage the community to help us understand what we would like to see downtown,” said Mark Fisher, Policy Officer for the Indy Chamber. “Downtown is the economic hub of our region, our city, our state.”

He tells Inside Indiana Business the economy in Indianapolis works because of the city’s ability to move people and goods in and out of downtown Indy. 

The foundation says it will partner with the Rethink 65/70 Coalition, community leaders, and city and state officials to envision the long-term possibilities for all legs of the Inner Loop, minus the North Split.

Construction began this week on-ramps of the North Split in order to help better traffic flow during rush hours. 

“We also want to make sure we are designing a downtown that continues to support growth and investment both residential and business,” Fisher added. “This is a long term process. It’s not going to happen in the next five years; more of a ten to 15-year outlook.”

Fisher said they are going to hold many public meetings with residents, local leaders, and business owners in downtown Indy over that time frame to see what strategy would best in approaching a possible overhaul of the inner loop.

They are also starting with an eight-to-ten-month study of the area to help them reach a consensus on how to proceed.

(PHOTO: Google Maps Screencap)