Indianapolis' Inner Loop at 40
In a story for Indianapolis Monthly, Brian D. Smith reports that the I-65/I-70 inner loop is, for better or worse, one of the most important pieces of infrastructure Indianapolis ever built.
Many of the improvements and key features of the city would never have been built if the expressway hadn't been there. Smith writes, "Without this key piece of infrastructure, there might never have been a Lucas Oil Stadium."
There have, however, been problems associated with the loop. "Just three days after the ribbon-cutting, a Noblesville truck driver lost his life near the northeast interchange on a sharp bend where three other semis had already flipped." This stretch of road known locally as "Dead Man's Curve," was eventually the subject of a $500,000 renovation for safety. Other issues were the people moved and neighborhoods disrupted, "The project displaced a total of 17,000 residents, including 6,000 from Fountain Square (one-fourth of the population)."
Today the I-65/I-70 inner loop is a defining feature of Indianapolis, for better and worse.