Lilly grant funds study on alternative I-65/70 interchange concepts

February 18, 2020

The Indy Chamber Foundation has received funds to study alternative designs for the downtown inner loop of the Interstate 65/70 interchange.

Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded the foundation a $475,000 grant to conduct a threshold study of designs that would replace the current traditional interstate design of the I-65/I-70 project.

The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to upgrade the 50-year old I-65/I-70 interchange, the second-most heavily traveled interchange in Indiana.

The project includes the replacement or rehabilitation of all bridges and the rehabilitation or construction of about 27 lane-miles of pavement, according to INDOT.

Some Indianapolis residents and organizations believe the project is an opportunity to make significant changes to the interchange’s design, expanding options for residents and businesses in the area.

The study will evaluate the possibilities for all legs of the Inner Loop, excluding the North Loop. It will also evaluate options for the downtown interstate system, including comparing the reconstruction of the current elevated interstate design to a greener recessed-highway design.

“As the Inner Loop ages towards major reconstruction over the next decade, it’s imperative that we gather the facts and engage our community to build consensus towards the best possible solution – the generous support of the Endowment will help secure a comprehensive study of our options,” said Indy Chamber president and CEO Michael Huber.

The study is expected to begin later this year.

Lilly grant funds study on alternative I-65/70 interchange concepts