INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State highway officials are closing a portion of Interstate 70 in Indianapolis to tackle roadwork during the drop in traffic that followed Indiana’s stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Indiana Department of Transportation will close eastbound I-70 on Monday between the highway's North Split with Interstate 65 near downtown Indianapolis to Interstate 465 on the city’s east side.
All eastbound lanes and ramps are scheduled to reopen May 13.
INDOT will also close westbound lanes of I-70 on April 23 between the North Split with I-65 and I-465. All westbound lanes and ramps are scheduled to reopen on May 23.
INDOT is recommending a variety of detours for travelers during the closures, depending on which direction they are traveling through Indianapolis.
The state agency said that traffic in Indianapolis is down about 40%, on average, compared with the week before Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a stay-at-home order for all but essential workers. The governor has extended that order through at least April 20 to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Many of the Indianapolis area’s large events and conventions have also been moved to late summer or early fall because of the pandemic.
INDOT said that it and contractor Milestone Contractors opted to accelerate planned construction on I-70 to allow for work to be done before those major events resume. The agency said the I-70 closures are being used to ensure worker safety, reduce overall construction time and maximize taxpayer dollars.