June 7, 2018

Rethink 65/70 Presents Vision to Public Works Committee

Rethink 65/70 presented its vision for Indianapolis' downtown Interstate System to a packed room.  - Sarah Panfil/WFYI

Rethink 65/70 presented its vision for Indianapolis' downtown Interstate System to a packed room.

Sarah Panfil/WFYI

Coalition Rethink 65/70 presented its vision for the deteriorating North Split interchange Thursday night to the Indianapolis City-County Council’s Public Works Committee.

The coalition supports short term fixes to the North Split infrastructure and alternatives to a rebuild, such as a multimodal boulevard.

Mayor Joe Hogsett conveyed his support in a letter read at the meeting.

Rethink 65/70 presenter Kevin Osburn said he’s pleased to have the city on the coalition’s side and believes the Indiana Department of Transportation can land on a plan that addresses community concerns.

“We need to look at some short-term fixes and buy some time to look at a realistic long-term vision that considers cost and traffic conditions, but also the economic development and quality of life issues,” Osburn said.

The meeting was packed with residents, including Lisa Lobdell, who says she’s fearful for the city’s future if the INDOT rebuilds the interchange with widened lanes and walls.

“It would devastate those neighborhoods,” Lobdell said, “and all of the work that’s been done over the last 40 or 50 years to rebuild those connections and get those property values up.”

INDOT released an analysis last month of potential rebuild concepts for the downtown Interstate System in response to community concerns.

Due the urgency of failing infrastructure, INDOT will move forward with construction, but has yet to set a start date or release a preferred project plan.

INDOT released an analysis last month of potential rebuild concepts for the downtown Interstate System. INDOT updates the website, NorthSplit.com, with related information. Rethink 65/70 also has an active online presence.

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