INDIANA'S "NEW" INTERSTATE: I-865
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Commissioner J. Bryan Nicol today announced, "INDOT is correcting an interstate numbering confusion that has existed for more than 30 years. The Interstate highway connecting Interstate 65 with Interstate 465 will now be designated as Interstate 865."
When the 4.7 mile segment of Interstate 465 (I-465) in Boone County between Interstate 65 (I-65) Exit 129 and I-465 Exit 25 was opened to traffic in August of 1970, its designation became a source of confusion almost immediately. To this day, it is described in numerous ways . . . "I-465", "the 465 connector", "the northwest connection", "the 465 extension", "the 465 dogleg", "465 second section" and even as "the 465 ramp to 65 north."
This anomaly occurred because of the way in which the interstate system developed in the Indianapolis area. The original interstate system focused on connections between major cities with development of urban beltways, bypasses and distribution routes coming later. The federal government identified the Indianapolis area beltway in 1957 as Interstate 465, however its route was not continuous. It headed eastbound from I-65 at mile marker 129 and traveled around the city until it rejoined I-65 at mile marker 123 approaching from the south.
The five-mile segment of what we now know as I-465 between exits 20 and 25 was developed not as part of the interstate system, but rather as State Road 100 (S. R. 100). The highway won designation as a part of I-465 in January 1970, seven months before its completion. This was because Indiana chose to build S.R. 100 to interstate standards and convinced federal authorities that making it part of I-465 gave improved continuity to the beltway. However, the Boone County highway also remained designated as I-465.
Since it would be very undesirable to have the same mile marker locations, on two different segments of I-465, mile markers for the Boone County segment started with "900" to differentiate it from those on the beltway. Even so, "mile marker 902 on I-465," remained a poor point of reference for both motorists traveling in the area and emergency responders.
The issue resurfaced in 1998, when INDOT added 2/10-mile reference markers to the Indianapolis area interstates as part of its Intelligent Transportation Systems initiative, "TrafficWise." The 2/10-mile reference markers assist motorists and emergency personnel locate crashes and other incidents along a highway.
After installation of the new markers, the issue of highway designation was revisited, resulting in INDOT's request for a designation change. The Federal Highway Administration agreed that the change is in the best interest of public safety.
Because routes that connect two interstates or a mainline interstate to its beltway must carry a three-digit number with an even-numbered prefix, INDOT selected I-865. Although I-665 was also available, INDOT determined that a combination of 8 and 65 is more easily understood during emergency communications.
"When this highway is re-signed in mid-May, motorists will know where they are without question . . . I-865," added Nicol. "Travel will be safer since motorists and emergency personnel can quickly and easily locate incidents, reduce the time needed to respond and potentially save lives."
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CONTACT: Mark Newland, INDOT ITS Program Director, (317) 232-5523
Jonathan Wallace, INDOT Office of Communications, (317) 234-1213
Roger Manning, INDOT Office of Communications, (317) 233-4675