City officials say $60 million reconstruction of Monument Circle needed to ensure safety, accessibility at iconic destination

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The City of Indianapolis is spending approximately $125,000 a year to replace broken bricks on Monument Circle, a cycle city officials admitted is not addressing the underlying issue of rapidly deteriorating infrastructure.

A $60 million reconstruction project that is in the planning stage also promises to change the way the public uses the iconic landmark.

The City of Indianapolis is working closely with engineers to clearly define a $60 million reconstruction project that is expected to answer a call for much-needed infrastructure improvement around Monument Circle.

The plan, if funded, would update utilities and improve accessibility for pedestrians among other improvements.

The Department of Public Works has to budget $125,000 a year to replace broken bricks on Monument Circle alone.

“Monument Circle is Indianapolis’ front parlor, and if it falls into disrepair, it reflects on all of us,” said Mark Zwoyer, lead engineer of the redevelopment project. He works for CHA engineering firm.

The redesign would also impact the major roadways that run through the circle. It would be handled in three phases.

“We’re near the end of the lifespan for the utilities and the pavement here,” said Cynthia Bowen, the project manager.

“We have an on-call contract underway all year round,” said Larry Jones, Deputy Director of the Indianapolis Department of Public Works. He said it is necessary for more rapid response to eliminate pedestrian safety issues.

Five-hundred-thousand-dollars from Congress is currently being used to survey the area, draw up plans for the reconstruction and public outreach.

Bowen said they are counting on a big federal grant, but city, state and even private investments are also expected. She said an added benefit to preserving the iconic space would be to improve its ability to host additional events, some that are greater in size.

“How do we add more programming? How do we get this space used more often than what it is,” she said.

“Pretty much every single day, there is some kind of activity,” said Kim Nething, owner of Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop. She continued. “I¬†think it would definitely benefit long term.”

The projected construction timeline is 2016 to late 2017. Before a final design is reached on the final design, public input will be encouraged during a series of meetings.

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