Why are the exits on I-465 where they are?

Interstate 465. The Indianapolis bypass interstate is an almost 54 mile loop connecting all parts of the Circle City suburbs. (Actually, the loop of I-465 is two different lengths: closer to 55 on the outside, closer to 53 on the inside. The mileage posts are based on centerline mileage, more or less.)

Every exit along the route was chosen for a reason. That much is obvious. But some of the reasons may escape the casual traveler. What I plan to do is give an exit guide, with some history, and some “missed opportunities.” This will start at Mile 0 (I-65 on the southside), and work its way sequentially upwards, to Mile 53+ (again, I-65 on the southside).

Because INDOT has rerouted all through US and state highways onto I-465 around Indianapolis, the “multiplexes” will be shown between each description in this green color.

Historic Note 1: Madison Avenue. From 1917 to 1986, Madison Avenue (the old Indianapolis-Madison State Road) was the responsibility of the Indiana State Highway Commission and its successors. From 1917 to 1926, it was SR 1. From 1926 to 1942, it was US 31. From 1942 to its decommissioning, it was SR 431. An exit was never built here, as it was too close to both the US 31 bypass built in 1941, and the Pennsylvania Railroad built in 1847.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74, (future I-69), US 31, US 36, SR 37, US 40, SR 67.

EXIT 2: US 31. The exit here is very straight forward. US 31 is a major US highway connecting northern Michigan to Mobile, Alabama. An exit here would have been a no brainer. At the time of interstate construction, US 31 was a through route. Exit 2A connected to US 31 North, Exit 2B connected to US 31 South. This changed on 1 July 1999, when US 31 North was rerouted along I-465 east/north/west between Exit 2 and Exit 31. Exit 2A became East Street at that time.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74, (future I-69), US 36, SR 37, US 40, SR 67.

Historic Note 2: Bluff Road & Exit 4: SR 37/Harding Street. At the time of the construction of I-465, Bluff Road was SR 37. The plans for 465 included an exit about one mile west of SR 37, where a new bypass would be built. Like SR 431, there was no exit built to (what was at the time) SR 37. Bluff Road would remain SR 37 until 1966, when it was completely replaced by the bypass at Harding Street. According to Official Highway Maps, in 1965 both the Harding Street bypass and Bluff Road were SR 37. Prior to that, the bypass was under construction from 1962 (when the exit was built) to 1964. As an aside, a later post will cover the bypass, which when originally built only went as far as the Johnson-Marion County line.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74, (future I-69), US 36, US 40, SR 67.

Historic Note 3: White River & Exit 7: Mann Road. These two are related only in the fact that the Mann Road exit helps complete a route that, although I have seen a contract let to build, I can’t find any proof that it ever was: Thompson Road bridge over White River. The original plan for SR 100 was to connect High School Road to Five Points Road using Thompson Road. One small problem existed…no White River bridge existed for Thompson Road. When I-465 replaced SR 100 (although the state DID use the SR 100 label for construction contracts for parts of I-465), the decision was made to build 465 as close to the SR 100 plan of Thompson Road. The Mann Road exit is unidirectional. You can only use this interchange to either enter the interstate to cross White River, or to exit after crossing said river.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74, US 36, US 40, SR 67.

Exit 8: SR 67/Kentucky Avenue. Another exit at a state road. Pretty straight forward. It should be noted that this exit is lopsided to the east due to the Pennsylvania Railroad Vincennes route right alongside SR 67. At the time of construction, SR 67 was a through route, connecting to downtown Indianapolis. This wouldn’t last long, as SR 67 was rerouted along I-465 east/north to Exit 42.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74, US 36, US 40.

Exit 9: Interstate 70. This exit existed for quite a few years before the major interstate 70 was connected to it. This interchange has changed several times over the years for traffic flow and the airport terminal moving across the property.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74, US 36, US 40.

Exit 11: Airport (Sam Jones) Expressway. This exit connected to the Weir Cook/Indianapolis International Airport. It would do this until the airport terminal was moved to the other side of the airport property. At that time, Airport Expressway was renamed Sam Jones Expressway.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74, US 36, US 40.

Exit 12: US 40/Washington Street. Another major US Highway connection. When originally constructed, this was a complete cloverleaf interchange. Exit 12A connected to US 40 East, toward downtown Indianapolis. Exit 12B connects to US 40 West. On 1 Jul 1999, US 40 East was rerouted onto I-465 south/east/north to exit 46. Reconstruction cut out exit 12A and 12B, creating just one Exit 12. Entering I-465, there are still directional ramps.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74, US 36.

Exit 13: US 36/Rockville Road. This exit was constructed very much like Exits 12A and 12B. Exit 13B connected to US 36 West. Exit 13A connected to US 36 East. US 36 East would be rerouted along I-465 south/east/north to Exit 42. Reconstruction changed the cloverleaf to a (more or less) diamond interchange, removing Exits 13A and 13B for just an Exit 13. I-465 north still has directional ramps from both US 36 East and Rockville Road west.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74.

Exit 14: 10th Street. This ramp was put in place, apparently, as another route to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 10th Street, while part of the old Danville State Road, has never been state responsibility. The original interchange was a modified cloverleaf, with a flyover connecting westbound 10th Street to I-465 South. Reconstruction changed this interchange to a modified diamond, with directional ramps to I-465 north.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74.

Exit 16A: US 136/Crawfordsville Road & Exit 16B: I-74. While reconstruction at this interchange over the years has changed the directions of the ramps, they still connect to the same locations. When built, Exit 16A connected to both US 136 West and East, although not directly. At the time, Crawfordsville Road was US 136 East to JCT US 52 (Lafayette Road) – past the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (US 136 followed 16th Street after the end of Crawfordsville Road). US 136 West was a right turn off of US 136 East. When US 136 was removed east of this interchange, it was truncated to the High School Road intersection at the end of Ramp 16A. With reconstruction, US 136 was truncated again, since the intersection with High School Road was removed.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465.

Exit 17: 38th Street. This interchange was added after original construction of I-465. 38th Street is one of the few roads that connects across (almost) all of Marion County. News reports in the Indianapolis Star talk about this exit being built to connect I-465 to I-65 on the westside, and that westside residents are looking forward to its construction.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465.

Exit 19: 56th Street. Another interchange added after the original construction. This interchange, like the one at Mann Road, is unidirectional. This is due to the closeness of the ramp to the original end of I-465. This interchange was added to allow northbound access to Eagle Creek Park (southbound access is allowed at I-65 & 71st Street).

I-465 Multiplex: I-465.

Exit 20: I-65. If coming from the south to this interchange, it wasn’t an exit for almost a decade. This was the end of I-465 as originally designed. Coming from the north, it didn’t exist at all until 1970 when construction started on what was to become SR 100 connecting I-465 on the west side to I-465 on the north side.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465.

Exit 21: 71st Street/73rd Street. One of two exits built for SR 100 extension between the 465 segments. 71st Street was added as a connection to northwestern Pike Township, Eagle Creek Park, and the pending industrial park named after the road: Park 100. Reconstruction added a flyover ramp to 73rd Street, as well.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465.

Exit 23: 86th Street. This interchange was built to connect SR 100, which ran along 86th Street from US 52 (Lafayette Road) to Shadeland Avenue on the far east side, to SR 100, the connection between the two segments of I-465.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465.

Exit 25: I-865. At this point, I-465 turns east. But not always. Since this section was built as SR 100 originally, this exit didn’t exist originally. What is now I-865 was originally I-465. And it stayed that way for years, although the mileage was started at 900. From the south, the original exit would have been two: I-465 West and I-465 East. From the west, there would have been one exit, to SR 100 South.

As an aside, this can still be seen in the fact that there still is an exit ramp from I-465 West to I-465 South, and I-865 is a straight line. Eventually, the “exit” designation was moved from I-465 South to I-465 (I-865) West. Also, a destination sign at Township Line Road shows the mileage to I-465 South, not I-865 West.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, US 52.

Exit 27: US 421/Michigan Road. This interchange was placed simply because it is a US highway. Originally, US 421 was a through route. This would change when US 421 was rerouted along I-465 East/South to Exit 47.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, US 52, US 421.

Exit 31: US 31/Meridian Street. US 31 again is a major US Highway. Meridian Street was, until 1 July 1999, US 31 to close to downtown Indianapolis. Proceeding east on I-465 means that the traveler is also on US 31, as well.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, US 31, US 52, US 421.

Historic Note 4: Westfield Boulevard & Exit 33: Keystone Avenue. Before the original planning of I-465, this was SR 431. With the planning of the interstate, a replacement for SR 431 would be built as an extension of Keystone Avenue. At that point, SR 431 had already been removed from Westfield Boulevard from Broad Ripple to 86th Street. SR 431 ran along Keystone Avenue from SR 37 (Fall Creek Boulevard) to SR 100 (86th Street), where SR 431 followed SR 100 west to Nora, turning north on Westfield Boulevard. Exit 33 was then built to complete the SR 431 bypass.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, US 31, US 52, US 421.

Exit 35: Allisonville Road. Allisonville Road, at the time of construction, was still designated as SR 37A, at the request of Hamilton County officials. Before it was SR 37A, it was the original route of SR 37. The SR 37A designation didn’t last long after this ramp was built.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, US 31, US 52, US 421.

Exit 37B: Binford Boulevard; Exits 37 & 37A: I-69/SR 37 North. These ramps, and yes, there are three different exit numbers here, connect to the SR 37 Bypass built in 1956/1957. Later, I-69 was built along the same corridor. There is going to be a major reconstruction of this interchange in the next half-decade.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, (future I-69), US 31, SR 37, US 52, US 421.

Exit 40: 56th Street/Shadeland Avenue. This interchange served two purposes…to connect I-465 to SR 100 (Shadeland Avenue) and Fort Benjamin Harrison (56th Street).

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, (future I-69), US 31, SR 37, US 52, US 421.

Exit 42: US 36/SR 67/Pendleton Pike. Originally built to interchange with the through roads US 36 and SR 67, it now serves as the connector from the southside (Exit 8, SR 67) and westside (Exit 13, US 36) to continue those roads out of Indianapolis to the northeast. Pendleton Pike continues westward into Indianapolis (as Massachusetts Avenue after 38th Street).

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, (future I-69), US 31, US 36, SR 37, US 52, SR 67, US 421.

Exit 44: I-70. This is the major exit used by people from eastern and central Hamilton County (and I-69) to get to downtown Indianapolis. I-70 is a major cross country interstate.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, (future I-69), US 31, US 36, SR 37, US 52, SR 67, US 421.

Exit 46: US 40/Washington Street. Another connection to the historic National Road. Heading south from here adds US 40 to the multiplex following I-465. At this point, technically, a traveler is on the following roads: I-465, US 31, SR 37, US 40, US 52, SR 67, and US 421. Add the future I-69, and this makes this road one of the most multiplexed roads in the country.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, (future I-69), US 31, US 36, SR 37, US 40, US 52, SR 67, US 421.

Exit 47: Brookville Road. Another ramp that was added to I-465 after original construction…but for different reasons. The original US 52 connection to I-465 was actually via SR 100 (Shadeland Avenue). With the downgrade of SR 100 to city street, INDOT needed to connect US 52 directly to I-465, hence the construction of this ramp.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, (future I-69), US 31, US 36, SR 37, US 40, SR 67, US 421.

Exit 48 (northbound only): Shadeland Avenue. This was the original connection from I-465 to SR 100, until SR 100 was decommissioned on 1 July 1999.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, (future I-69), US 31, US 36, SR 37, US 40, SR 67, US 421.

Exits 49/49A/49B: I-74/US 421/Southeastern Avenue: This interchange, in its original format, was built long before I-465 ever go to this point because I-74 was already completed from just east of Arlington Avenue to Acton Road in 1961. The Southeastern Avenue ramp turns into Southeastern Avenue westbound towards Indianapolis, which was US 421 for the longest time. One can reach eastbound, and hence Five Points and Wanamaker, by turning left off of the Southeastern Avenue ramp.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74, (future I-69), US 31, US 36, SR 37, US 40, SR 67.

Exit 52: Emerson Avenue. The reason this ramp exists to allow interstate access to the city of Beech Grove. Before it was completely connected to Emerson Avenue north of Beech Grove, this street was First Avenue in the city.

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74, (future I-69), US 31, US 36, SR 37, US 40, SR 67.

Exit 53: I-65. The end and the beginning of I-465. This interchange has been modified over the years

I-465 Multiplex: I-465, I-74, (future I-69), US 31, US 36, SR 37, US 40, SR 67.

Thus covers Interstate 465 in its entirety.

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