Broad Ripple project prompts road closure Monday

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A Monday road closure signaled additional growing pains for the popular Indianapolis neighborhood of Broad Ripple, as residents and merchants welcomed the long-term benefits of the project.

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works said the closure of Westfield Boulevard between College Avenue and Broadway would last up to 28 days.

DPW suggests traffic heading southwest on Westfield Boulevard/Broad Ripple Avenue should detour to College Avenue southbound, before turning on Kessler Boulevard East Drive to reconnect to Westfield.  Traffic heading northeast should detour to eastbound Kessler Boulevard East Drive to northbound College Avenue, DPW said.

The added traffic confusion could inconvenience customers and hurt business in the short run, said the owner of Ripple Bagel & Deli, Ken Richman, but he believes the project is worth it.

“It’ll improve the aesthetics, the safety of Broad Ripple, the sidewalks,” Richman said.  “Merchants will have a better sewage; there will not be water backups anymore.  So there’s a lot of things that’ll be good about it.

On March 1, DPW will begin another project.  The Guilford Avenue bridge over the Central Canal will close to all vehicles for up to 10 weeks.  Pedestrians will be allowed to cross during the bridge maintenance work.

“It’s a short-term hurt for a long-term improvement, I think,” said Richman, “and continuing efforts for Broad Ripple to be the place to come and have fun.”