|USS Indianapolis Memorial Highway|
Former routes of U.S. and State highways that are now defunct or routed on I-465 are shown in gray.
|Maintained by INDOT|
|Length:||52.79 mi (84.96 km)|
|Existed:||1959 (completed 1970) – present|
|Beltway around Indianapolis, Indiana|
| I-65 (South Side)
I-70 (Southwest Side)
I-74 (West Side)
I-65 (Northwest side)
I-865 (Northwest Side)
I-69 (Northeast side)
I-70 (East side)
I-74 (Southeast side)
Interstate 465 (I-465), also known as the USS Indianapolis Memorial Highway, is the beltway circling Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. It is roughly rectangular in shape and has a perimeter of approximately 53 miles (85 km). It lies almost completely within the boundaries of Marion County, except for two short sections on the north leg in Boone and Hamilton Counties. It crosses I-65, I-69, I-70 and I-74, and provides additional access to I-65 via I-865.
Except for I-65 and I-70, no numbered highways run through downtown Indianapolis. All highways that continue from one side to the other are routed around the city, concurrent with I-465:
- Interstate 74, counterclockwise from exit 16 to exit 49
- U.S. Highway 31, counterclockwise from exit 2 to exit 31
- U.S. Highway 36, counterclockwise from exit 13 to exit 42
- U.S. Highway 40, counterclockwise from exit 12 to exit 46
- U.S. Highway 52, clockwise from exit 25 to exit 47 (originally counterclockwise from exit 20 to exit 48)
- U.S. Highway 421, counterclockwise from exit 49 to exit 27
- State Road 37, counterclockwise from exit 4 to exit 37 (originally only from exit 4 to exit 2)
- State Road 67, counterclockwise from exit 8 to exit 42
- Future Interstate 69, counterclockwise from Exit 5 (proposed route) to Exit 37
Once the extension currently under construction is completed, Interstate 69 will be routed from I-465's intersection with the new Interstate around the south and eastern sections to its current intersection with I-69, joining the two sections.
The approximately one-mile section between exits 46 and 47 carries eight routes — I-465, US 31, US 36, US 40, US 52, US 421, SR 37 and SR 67. In most cases, markers other than I-74's are not posted along I-465 itself; rather, signs on the entrance ramps direct traffic traveling a particular route to follow I-465 to a specific exit to continue on that route.
Planning and alignment selection
A beltway for Indianapolis was part of the original plan of the Interstate System in 1955. The general alignment was to be either on or adjacent to the now-defunct SR 100, which by then had only two completed legs—on the north side, along 86th Street to the west of the White River and 82nd Street east of the river, and on the east side along Shadeland Avenue. On the city's west side, an alignment corridor paralleling High School Road was preferred, and on the south side, one between Hanna Avenue and Thompson Road was proposed. Development along 86th Street made its use unfeasible for I-465, so a 91st Street alignment was initially proposed. This proved to be controversial, and caused many delays in final alignment selection for the North Leg, postponing its construction by several years.
Initial construction (1959–70)
Like all Interstate highways in Indiana, the I-465 beltway was constructed in segments which when all were complete, made up the route we know today (with the exception of the 4.72 miles (7.60 km) renamed as I-865 in 2002). There were 16 segments along the original semi-circumferential selected alignment between I-65 in Boone County at exit 129 and that same highway six miles to the south at exit 123 in Marion County. Indiana highway officials recognized the value of having the route be a full circumferential, so using non-Interstate federal funding and employing a temporary designation of SR 100 they planned a separate 17th segment northward between I-65 at its exit 123 and the north leg of I-465 in Boone County. By the time that added section was completed in 1970, Indiana had obtained federal approval to sign it as I-465 as well, resulting in the creation of the dogleg part of I-465 outside of the loop (now I-865 as noted above).
State highway officials concentrated on building the west and south legs of I-465 early in the overall project, since they were the missing portions of the SR 100 concept. Construction began in 1959, and the first section of the I-465 beltway to be completed was the portion on the west leg between I-65 near Eagle Creek Park and I-74/US 136 in Speedway, which opened to traffic on September 26, 1961, simultaneously with the adjacent section of I-65 northwest from there running 1.48 miles (2.38 km) to 71st Street. By July 18, 1962, all four segments of the original west leg were open between Kentucky Avenue (SR 67) and I-65, but the interchange with I-70 in that stretch was not completed until much later that decade when the segment of that route from I-465 west to SR 43 opened in 1968.
The south side sections were next be completed, with three opening in the second half of 1963 and two more on October 15, 1964. This completed both the south leg and the first segment of the east leg, connecting to the southern SR 100 (Shadeland Avenue) extension from Washington Street (US 40) at a point just north of the Raymond Street grade separation. With these sections open, the full length of I-74's concurrency over I-465 was now available for motorists. Also the south leg's junction with I-65 was completed, but that freeway was only open to the north (and then only 1.18 miles (1.90 km) to Keystone Avenue) until early 1971.
With Shadeland Avenue (then SR 100) now connected to a full southern and western bypass of Indy, the pressure was off of the Indiana State Highway Commission and work on I-465's east leg slowed, delaying the opening of the next segment over three years. In January 1968 two sections of the east leg, between Pendleton Pike (US 36/SR 67) and the SR 100 junction near Raymond Street, were completed and opened a day apart. This allowed through traffic from both US 36 and SR 67 to bypass the increasingly congested SR 100 by using the new sections of I-465 instead. The interchange with I-70 in this newly opened section was not yet complete and its ramps did not open until the mainline of that route did later that year on December 2, 1968, between SR 100/Shadeland Avenue and SR 9 near Greenfield. On October 23, 1968, the section of I-465 between Pendleton Pike and 56th Street at Shadeland Avenue was finished and opened to traffic, completing the east leg's eastern bypass of SR 100.
With its alignment controversies now settled and in the read-view mirror, the north leg of I-465 began to take shape toward the end of the 1960s. The section between Michigan Road (US 421) and Meridian Street (US 31) was the first on this side of town to see traffic, on October 20, 1968. A year to the day later, the next segment from US 31 to Keystone Avenue (then SR 431) was opened to motorists. The next month, in November 1969, the north extension of the west leg was completed and signed as I-465 (though it was considered to be "added mileage" by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) since it was built to Interstate standards using non-Interstate funds by Indiana), but this section only opened between I-65 and 86th Street, as the segment of the north leg to which it reached was not yet complete. That occurred on August 18, 1970, when the western end of the north leg (including the infamous dogleg mileage) between I-65 near Royalton and Michigan Road (US 421) was finished and opened to traffic. At that time the final connection on the north extension of the west leg to 86th Street was also opened, leaving only one remaining gap in the entire I-465 route.
The final section of I-465 to be built was the portion joining the north and east legs, between Keystone Avenue (then SR 431) and 56th Street at Shadeland Avenue (then SR 100). This stretch opened to traffic on October 5, 1970, and marked the final completion of the I-465 beltway around Indianapolis. The exact transition point between the north and east legs remains a point of argument, with most believing it is at the interchange with I-69/SR 37 and Binford Boulevard (former SR 37), but some maintaining it is a little further south, at either the 75th Street or the 71st Street grade separations.
Subsequent improvements and changes
|This section needs expansion with: History of subsequent route improvements. You can help by adding to it. (December 2016)|
In April 2002, INDOT announced the redesignation of the dogleg portion of I-465 to I-865. This change eliminated the three-way intersection of I-465 where the north extension of the west leg meets the original north leg (at exit 25). An additional benefit of the change allowed for more precise location descriptions under Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for relaying roadway incidents to emergency responders as well as maintenance requests to INDOT and its contractors. Finally, it put an end to the confusion that had occurred over what to call this section of freeway since its opening to traffic on August 18, 1970.
An $800 million project called Accelerate 465 to refurbish and reconfigure the west leg of the loop began in July 2007 and was completed in December 2012. This massive undertaking on the oldest sections of I-465 completely rebuilt and added new travel lanes, added auxiliary lanes, rebuilt many grade separations, and reconfigured nearly all of the interchanges along its length form just north of the Kentucky Avenue (SR 67 south) interchange to the 56th Street partial interchange. The junction with I-74 and Crawfordsville Road (US 136 west) was totally reconfigured to allow direct access between I-465 and US 136 for the first time, while also providing a full directional (system) interchange between the Interstate routes to replace the former cloverleaf. This change eliminated the connector stub between I-74 and the intersection of Crawfordsville Road and High School Road, with that surface road junction being rebuilt as a T-intersection, which had the added benefit of removing the former requirement for through traffic on Crawfordsville Road to make a turn movement there.
As part of its Operation Indy Commute project, INDOT began work in 2013 to widen I-65 on both its northbound and southbound mainlines from exit 103 at Southport Road northward to the junction with I-465's south leg, which would also be modified. To reduce congestion at and near that interchange, the loop ramp from westbound I-465 to southbound I-65 was replaced by a flyover ramp. The eastbound I-465 exit to southbound I-65 was also expanded for smoother merging with the new west-to-south flyover. In addition, grade separations over I-465 were replaced on Sherman Drive and Carson Avenue to allow for longer and wider approaches to this busy junction. Most of this work was completed in late 2014.
As part of the major project to upgrade 13 miles (21 km) of US 31 in Hamilton County to a full Interstate-standard freeway, the I-465 north leg interchange at Meridian Street (exit 31) received its second major reconfiguration between October 2013 and December 2015, with some additional work continuing until November 22, 2016. The first modification to the junction's original diamond configuration, done many years earlier, had added loop ramps for the north-to-west and south-to-east movements. This resulting parclo configuration was replaced by the present partial directional (system interchange) design—which allows for free-flow movements to and from the new US 31 freeway to the north. The westbound exit from I-465 now allows free-flow movement for northbound US 31 freeway traffic.
In 2002, Indianapolis native David Letterman's late-night talk show sidekick and band leader Paul Shaffer was honored by having a street in Thunder Bay, Ontario, named for him. This led Letterman to ask (on his program) why he couldn't have his own eponymous road, and he suggested I-465 be named the David Letterman Expressway (sic). His fans took the idea seriously, especially in the Indianapolis area where highway signs promoting the idea were displayed. Advertisers and a few traffic reports started to refer to I-465 as the "DLX", or later the "David Letterman Bypass", a reference to his quintuple heart bypass surgery in January 2000. Letterman even telephoned the Mayor of Indianapolis, Bart Peterson to make his case, but eventually the idea went nowhere.
In 2011 the Indiana General Assembly passed a resolution officially designating I-465 as "USS Indianapolis Memorial Highway" in "the memory of the brave sailors who lost their lives" when USS Indianapolis was sunk in the Pacific during World War II. Signs touting this designation have since been erected sporadically around the loop, but the highway is still referred to nearly exclusively as "I-465" or simply "465" by most locals.
Between 2017 and 2020, I-69 will likely be signed to run concurrently with the southern and eastern legs of I-465 around Indianapolis from the current south end at exit 37 to just west of exit 4 (SR 37). Preliminary plans have a new exit 5 for I-69 and SR 37 south to be constructed at that location. Exit 4 is planned to be closed, and traffic would need to use exit 5 to access Harding Street North.
|Marion||Indianapolis||0.00||0.00||53||I-65 – Indianapolis, Louisville|
|2.20||3.54||2||US 31 south (East Street) – Greenwood||West/south end of US 31 overlap; signed as exits 2A (north) and 2B (south)|
|4.30||6.92||4||SR 37 south (Harding Street) – Bloomington||West end of SR 37 overlap; to close after Exit 5 is opened|
|5||I-69 south to SR 37 / SR 144 / SR 39 – Bloomington||Future I-69 south|
|7.33||11.80||7||Mann Road||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|8.51||13.70||8||SR 67 south (Kentucky Avenue) – Vincennes||West/south end of SR 67 overlap|
|9.32||15.00||9||I-70 – Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Indianapolis International Airport, Plainfield, St. Louis||Signed as exits 9A (east) and 9B (west); Exit 73 on I-70|
|10.48||16.87||11||Sam Jones Expressway|
|11.77||18.94||12||US 40 west (Washington Street) – Terre Haute, Plainfield||West end of US 40 overlap|
|12.91||20.78||13||US 36 west (Rockville Road) – Avon, Danville, Rockville||West end of US 36 overlap|
|16|| I-74 west – Peoria, Illinois
US 136 west (Crawfordsville Road)
|West end of I-74 overlap; eastern terminus of US 136; signed as exits 16A (US 136) and 16B (I-74)|
|19.03||30.63||19||56th Street||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|19.80||31.87||20||I-65 – Indianapolis, Gary, Chicago||I-65 exit 123; directional access (northbound to northbound and southbound to southbound) only.|
|21||71st Street, 73rd Street||Exit to 73rd Street northbound only|
|25||I-865 west / US 52 west to I-65 north – Chicago||West end of US 52 overlap|
|Marion||Indianapolis||26.42||42.52||27||US 421 north (Michigan Road) – Michigan City||West/north end of US 421 overlap|
|Hamilton||Carmel||30.27||48.71||31||US 31 north (Meridian Street) – South Bend||East/north end of US 31 overlap|
|Marion||Indianapolis||32.87||52.90||33||Keystone Avenue (Former SR 431)|
|36.50||58.74||37||I-69 (Binford Boulevard) / SR 37 north – Fort Wayne, Muncie||East end of SR 37 overlap; signed as exits 37A (south) and 37B (north) westbound; no access from westbound I-465 to southbound Binford Boulevard or northbound Binford Boulevard to eastbound I-465; I-69 south exit 200|
|38.83||62.49||40||Shadeland Avenue; 56th Street||Directional access (northbound to northbound and southbound to southbound) only for Shadeland Avenue, which also serves as a collector-distributor lane for 56th Street exit|
|Lawrence||41.05||66.06||42||US 36 east (Pendleton Pike) / SR 67 north – Pendleton||East/north end of US 36 / SR 67 overlap|
|Indianapolis||43.43||69.89||44||I-70 – Indianapolis, Dayton||I-70 east exit 89, west exit 90. Signed as exits 44A (east) & 44B (west) northbound.|
|45.27||72.86||46||US 40 east (Washington Street) – Richmond||East end of US 40 overlap|
|46.81||75.33||47||US 52 east (Brookville Road)||East end of US 52 overlap|
|47.27||76.07||48||Shadeland Avenue||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|48.33||77.78||49||I-74 east / US 421 south (Southeastern Avenue) – Cincinnati||East/south end of I-74 / US 421 overlap|
|Beech Grove||51.40||82.72||52||Emerson Avenue|
|Indianapolis||52.79||84.96||53||I-65 – Indianapolis, Louisville||I-65 exit 106; signed as exits 53A (north) & 53B (south).|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- Reference Post Book (PDF). Indianapolis: Indiana Department of Transportation. 2004. I-465.
- 1969 Indianapolis map (note that the highlighting is wrong, as exit 47 was a partial interchange, so US 52 had to use exit 48 and Shadeland Avenue (State Road 100))
- "USGS 1984 map". Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- US 31/I-465: Photo shows how US 31 is marked as it joins I-465 looking east, Illinois and Indiana Highway Ends, c. 2005, retrieved May 17, 2009
- Ripple, David Alan. "History of the Interstate System in Indiana", Purdue University, 1975.[full citation needed]
- Indiana Department of Transportation (April 24, 2002). "Indiana's 'New' Interstate: I-865" (Press release). Indiana Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
- "INDOT: Accelerate 465".
- "Operation Indy Commute: I-65 & I-465 South". Indiana Department of Transportation.
- "I-465 gets new name". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved October 5, 2014.