Despite all of the challenges of living and working during a pandemic, the Indiana Department of Transportation completed a record $2.08-billion investment in more than 1,400 capital construction projects on Indiana's state highway system last year.
The editors of ENR are proud to name INDoT ENR Midwest's Owner of the Year.
In addition to proper planning and funding of large capital projects, INDoT was nimble enough to take advantage of downtime in 2020. Traffic impacts from COVID-19 allowed it to rephase approximately 20 state highway construction projects. The most significant rephasing involved a project to replace about 75 miles of pavement and 28 bridge decks on Interstate 70 in Indianapolis. INDoT authorized Milestone Construction to close all lanes in the construction in one direction at a time to complete the work faster. This rephasing reduced the project completion time by three months and saved taxpayers approximately $3.5 million.
Last year, INDoT reconstructed or rehabilitated 750 bridges and replaced approximately 700 miles of pavement on the state highway system. It made a $462-million investment in 560 local road, bridge, sidewalk and trail projects.
2020 saw the launch of a 20-year capital construction plan to add 1,000 truck parking spaces and reconstruction welcome centers along Indiana interstates. The plan invests an estimated $15 million per year to modernize facilities and more than double INDOT-owned truck parking spaces. The first reconstructed facility, the $4-million Pigeon Creek welcome center, opened on Interstate 69 in Steuben County, Ind., in October.
The I-69 Finish Line is in its final stage ahead of completion. It is the longest interstate extension project currently under construction in the nation. I-69 Finish Line is the sixth and final section of the Interstate 69 connection between Evansville and Indianapolis. The project upgrades the existing State Road 37 to interstate standards from Martinsville to Indianapolis. The project eliminates more than 200 at-grade crossings and driveways, constructs or rehabilitates over 70 bridges, builds 35 miles of new local access road connections and adds 10 new interchanges. The I-69 extension is the realization of 75 years of studies and discussion about an improved, multi-lane highway connecting southwest Indiana. The route is expected to generate a $4.1-billion economic impact in 20 years. When work is completed, I-69 will run continuously from the Canadian border at Port Sarnia, Mich., to Evansville, Ind., with Indiana an important piece of the planned national corridor.
INDoT's second major project last year was the I-65/I-70 North Split Reconstruction. The project reconstructs the I-65 and I-70 interchange in downtown Indianapolis. As one of the most heavily traveled interchanges in Indiana, many structures have exceeded their service life after nearly 50 years in operation. The approximated $383 million project replaces 32 aging bridges and 27 miles of pavement. Comprised of four sections — the south leg, west leg, east leg, and interchange — this design-build project replaces all pavement, reconfigures the busy downtown interchange into three levels, eliminates two ramp movements, replaces numerous bridge structures, installs a new drainage system, improves local streets, and provides new aesthetic and landscape features.
Read the March issue of ENR Midwest for a full story on how INDoT met the challenges of 2020 and turned a bad situation into one that allowed the agency to thrive and even save money for taxpayers.