INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Department of Transportation has unveiled its preliminary preferred alternative for the I-65/I-70 North Split reconstruction project in downtown Indianapolis. The alternative, INDOT says, will improve bridge and pavement conditions, correct safety issues, and improve operations without adding new lanes.

The reconstruction project will include modern bridge structures, wider sidewalks, improved aesthetics, and enhanced landscaping and INDOT says the preferred alternative will have a minimal footprint. It was one of several alternatives outlined in a screening report, all of which were evaluated based on relative cost and "impacts to the natural and human environment."

You can read more about the preferred alternatives by clicking here, and you can view the full alternatives screening report in the document below.

"INDOT listened to all input and incorporated as many suggestions as possible," said INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness. "Our goal in developing this preliminary preferred alternative remains balancing the need to address safety and aging infrastructure with community impacts."

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett released a statement Friday following INDOT's announcement:

This preliminary design is a testament to the legitimate concerns of Indianapolis neighborhoods who have felt the generational impact of the urban interstate system, and INDOT’s genuine willingness to listen and ensure their plans reflected that feedback. Residents should be encouraged by this kind of collaboration, and we can be proud of the initial plans it has resulted in.

I want to thank Commissioner Joe McGuinness for his continued work to bring this much-needed project to fruition, and I applaud the community groups who have tirelessly advocated city and state officials to ensure this infrastructure investment does not impede the livability and growth of our urban neighborhoods.

INDOT will host a public open house October 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Arsenal Technical High School to further discuss the alternatives. The public can also submit comments on the alternatives screening report during a 30-day period, which will end on October 29. 

INDOT says it will continue to accept community input after the 30-day public comment period as the environmental review process moves forward. The preliminary design is expected to begin next year with construction expected to begin in 2020.