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driving from chicago to cincinnati

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Green Bay, Wisconsin
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driving from chicago to cincinnati

Is it better to drive through indy on I65 or around it?

Bloomington, Indiana
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1. Re: driving from chicago to cincinnati

First welcome to the TA forums!

Second, not sure that there is a single "one size fits all" answer to your question (or that it really makes that much of a difference). For most of the time I would say head right down I-65 through downtown. There are, however, times I might say swing around on I-465. The biggest factor to me would be the time of day/day of week you're expecting to hit Indianapolis. (Construction projects, and I don't know of any at this time, would be another factor.)

If you're talking mid-day on a weekend, heck go through downtown, I'd probably do that even if there was construction. If, on the other hand you're going to be arriving around rush hour on a weekday, I might say swing around on I-465 (especially if there was any construction on the downtown portion of I-65).

Lastly, if there is any desire to see the downtown Indy skyline, etc. that would obviously favor heading through downtown (not that its skyline is anything particularly special).

I will point out that my memory is that there isn't that much of a time/milage difference between the two; at least not if you look at it beyond just the I-65/I-465 interchange to interchange (i.e. it might be semi-significant if you're only consider the difference in an interchange to interchange context, but not if you consider the difference in the context of a Chicago to Cincinnati drive). I just checked things on Google maps, they show the time difference between the two routes as ~6 minutes. Thus, I'd probably say you're looking at about a 5-10 minute difference most of the time.

As an aside, I'll give some forum advice I mention to those new to the forums. It helps if you put the kind of details I asked about in your original question; generally speaking putting more information in your question results in more & better responses.

Hope this helps,

hlo

Green Bay, Wisconsin
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2. Re: driving from chicago to cincinnati

thank you for the quick reply & info ....we will be going on a weekday about 10 or 11am.

Bloomington, Indiana
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3. Re: driving from chicago to cincinnati

Early mid-day on a weekday I wouldn't hesitate to go via downtown you should be after any sort of rush hour traffic. Will save you a few minutes & give you a bit of a view of downtown Indy.

Only other factor I can think of is that if you're perhaps going to eat lunch around that time (or even a late breakfast), then eating options might favor one route over the other. And, on this note, I will say if you *are* interested, you might swing off of the downtown route & stop at Shapio's Deli. It's an Indy institution (for good reason) and I think you could swing off & get back on pretty quick & easy (haven't checked it in the specific context of southbound on I-65, but do know it's close to some of the downtown interstate ramps). Shapio's isn't cheap, but the food is good & portions are generous (unless I'm really hungry the corned beef on rye is usually two meals for me).

Glad to be able to help,

hlo

Green Bay, Wisconsin
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4. Re: driving from chicago to cincinnati

Thanks so much for the info.

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5. Re: driving from chicago to cincinnati

Just to play it safe, I'd say go around the west side of town on 465. Like was mentioned before, there isn't much difference in time or distance. You can drive faster on 465 and there is less congestion, especially if there is an overturned truck or something on 65 downtown left over from rush hour.

Edited: 22 March 2014, 15:58
Indianapolis
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6. Re: driving from chicago to cincinnati

it's sort of 6/half a dozen comparison. not that I want to contradict anyone, but I drive the interstate to and through downtown every day from outside the city. I get on 465 and then 65/70, and have more issues on 465 (though it's pretty rare). late morning, you should blow right through downtown unless there is an accident or some other odd circumstance. It's faster and definitely fewer miles than going around on 465, though if you are going to Cincinnati, then you will need to get on 465 at some point to pick up I74 on the southeast side of the city. I am also a veteran of the Chicago expressways, and I can assure you that Indy's interstates are NOTHING as difficult as the Kennedy, Ryan, Edens, Borman, etc.

Indianapolis...
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7. Re: driving from chicago to cincinnati

There is quite a bit of construction going on at the south side I-65/I-465 interchange area. I-65 southbound can start getting backed up before you get to 465. There is less construction on the 465 side so I might be better to get on 465 on the north side of town so you won't have to go through the south side construction on 65.

Green Bay, Wisconsin
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8. Re: driving from chicago to cincinnati

Thanks everyone for the info I appreciate it.

Bloomington, Indiana
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9. Re: driving from chicago to cincinnati

A couple of additional comments (mainly regarding the addition of the north side I-465 option):

1. Again, time-wise there's not much difference in any of the routes (including this "new" one). Google maps (from I-65 north of Indy to I-74 on the SE side) gives about the same time for any route you'd want to take (I-65 through downtown, either clockwise or counter-clockwise on I-465, or even I-65 to downtown and then I-70 to the east side & then south I-465). All of these are all within about 5 minutes of each other (at ~30 minutes).

Bottom Line: You're going from the NW corner of the Indy outer loop to the SE corner of the outer loop and from a time/distance perspective it doesn't really matter if you go on the circumference or cut through the center (presuming no traffic/construction delays).

2. If you want to swing around on the north side, be aware that there is a split on I-65 about 10 miles past Lebanon, Indiana. I-65 continues SE to downtown (or to I-465 on the west side of Indy). The other half of the split is a short stretch known as I-865 that runs about due east from the split and links up with I-465 at the NW corner of the I-465/outer loop.

hlo

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: driving from chicago to cincinnati

I'd say Indy is worth a quick stop to explore the city for an hour to get out of the car and take a break from the drive, considering when you plan on going through the city...