Shutting down a portion of the interstate – and getting it repaired and reopened quickly – takes teamwork. That’s exactly what was on display when the Indiana Department of Transportation made the decision to close Interstate 469 on Sunday, Oct. 4, for a pavement overlay between exits 6/S.R. 1 and 13/Marion Center Road. The overlay will ensure the safety and mobility of the motoring public until the eastbound lanes of I-469 are reconstructed in 2016.
The collaboration began in-house when construction engineers noticed the need for repair work on the existing eastbound lane of I-469, which is reduced to one lane while westbound lanes are reconstructed. With the location of the repairs situated in the limits of a construction zone, District Construction Director, Jason Spreen, began seeking input from district traffic engineers, highway maintenance personnel, I-469 contractors and the Indiana State Police.
“Thankfully, we don’t have to close down the interstate very often,” Spreen said. “But, when we found out about the need for repairs, we started working with traffic engineers to formulate a plan of attack.”
Traffic engineers began looking at average daily travel numbers for the area where repairs were needed and determined that the best time for closing the eastbound lane would be overnight, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Soon after, Spreen and his team had a conversation with contractors and they agreed to provide crews overnight on Sunday, Oct. 4.
Once a date and time had been set, Fort Wayne Subdistrict Operations Manager, Larry Wasson, secured seven portable message boards – four from a neighboring INDOT district – and determined placement so motorists had ample advanced warning. Wasson also coordinated a team of maintenance workers who volunteered to work traffic control overnight.
“When there is teamwork and collaboration, great things can be achieved,” Wasson said. “We appreciate everyone who volunteered to work overnight and help divert traffic on I-469.”
Equally important, INDOT coordinated with ISP to provide assistance at several interchanges and ramps to I-469 in an effort to stop traffic from entering the eastbound lane of I-469, and, in turn, keep the contractor crews protected.
Spreen said he visited the site of the closure and shook the hand of each person who was working on the project – from maintenance crews, to contractor employees and each ISP officer, and called the project a success.
“This took a great team effort to get this done – from all INDOT departments, the State Police and our prime contractors,” Spreen said. “I am proud to be a part of an amazing team where we’re all working for the same goal – to provide safe passage to the driving public.”