Interstate 465. The Indianapolis bypass road has been a vital part of the fabric of the transportation system in central Indiana. The construction of this interstate started on the west side of Marion County, where it connected to I-65. It then worked its way around Marion County along the south, then east, sides. Construction of the north side section was completed in 1968. But it really wasn’t that simple. Planning actually started in 1961 for that section. And the state had been given five choices for the routing.
It is important to point out why I-465 is located where it is. I have covered this several times, but a brief overview is important for the context of the five choices. I-465 was a replacement (and completion) of SR 100, the Indianapolis bypass highway. When SR 100 was put down in plans, the rough line of the road was to be Shadeland/Five Points Roads, 82nd and 86th Streets, High School Road, and Thompson Road. A quick glance at a map shows that I-465 doesn’t vary too far from this plan.
The north side section I-465 would be the part of the road that would stray furthest from the original SR 100. But this was only in the final construction. In the five alternatives, some would be closer to the old state road. The proposals mentioned below were published publicly in June 1961.
The first plan, alternate A, “begins at a point on Ditch Road and continues eastward, generally adjacent to, and south of route 100 and 86th Street to a point just west of Spring Mill Road; thence northeast to a location about 1500 feet north of 86th Street; thence east to Manderley Road where it turns southeast and assumes the original alignment of Route 100. It then travels easterly to a point just east of Allisonville Road; thence southeasterly to the proposed east leg of IR 465 just north of 71st Street. All of Alternate A lies in Marion County.”
Alternate B, which begins at a point on Ditch Road about 2000 feet north of Alternate A extends easterly along a half section line (today known as the line of 91st Street) to College Avenue; thence northeast for about one mile to proposed SR 431; thence it bears southeast to the proposed east leg of IR 465 just north of 71st Street. All of Alternate B lies in Marion County.
Alternate C, which begins at a point on Ditch Road at 96th Street and extends easterly, adjacent to 96th Street, to the Monon R.R. where it again assumes the alignment of Alternate B to the proposed east leg of IR 465 just north of 71st Street. All of Alternate C lies in Hamilton and Marion Counties.
Alternate D, which begins at a point on Ditch Road about 200 feet north of 111th Street, thence easterly to the Monon R.R. The proposal then turns southeasterly to a point on proposed SR 431 approximately 1,600 feet north of 99th Street; thence it continues south by east over 96th Street to River Road where it turns almost due east to cross White River; thence southeast again to the proposed east leg of IR 465 just north of 71st Street. All of Alternate D lies in Hamilton and Marion Counties.
Alternate E, which begins at a point on Ditch Road about 800 south of 96th Street, and turns northeastward about 200 feet east of there to a point approximately 1,200 feet north of 96th; thence easterly to College Avenue where it assumes a southeasterly course crossing 96th Street about 400 feet east of the Monon R.R. and continues southeasterly to a proposed interchange with proposed SR 431 near 92nd Street. The alignment continues southeasterly crossing White River to a proposed interchange with SR 37A (Allisonville Road) about 1,700 feet north of the Junction of SR 37A and SR 100; then southeasterly to a proposed interchange with SR 37 and continues southeasterly to the proposed east leg of IR 465 just north of 71st Street. All of Alternate E lies in Hamilton and Marion Counties.
It should be noted that newspapers of the time covered the fact that, while the Highway Commission was planning I-465, or Alternate SR 100 as it was also known, plans were in the works to expand SR 100, at least on the north side. Also, a group called A Better County, Inc., was also pushing for I-465 to be even FURTHER out…as in north of Carmel. The proposals mentioned above were seen by that groups as representing “a deterent to the natural development of greater Indianapolis northward, and to the natural development of the town of Carmel southward.” It should be noted that while the words are quoted verbatim, the print was actually in all caps. Oh, yes. This half page ad by A Better County, Inc., had a LOT of caps in it.
I find it hard to say, given fifty years of its existence, that I-465 has hindered ANY development in the area. Also, the alternate that was chosen, closely resembling Alternate E, while not the greatest today, was at the time a good compromise. Alternate A would have, if I read it correctly, removed what is now known as the David Wolf Bridge across White River on 82nd/86th Street. Alternate D would have pushed the road 1.5 miles into Hamilton County. And none of these plans include anything about completing I-465, which at the time would be what is now I-865. (The section between I-865 and I-65, through what is now Park 100, came later. As a matter of fact, when it was proposed, that would have been SR 100, with I-465 still running from south of Whitestown [now 865] east, then south, then west, then north to what is now the ramp from I-465 to I-65 near Eagle Creek Park.)