Franklin Township residents frustrated by overlapping road construction projects

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Some residents on the southeast side of Indianapolis say overlapping road construction projects are making it hard to get around.

Two roundabout construction projects have Edgewood Avenue closed between Arlington Avenue and Franklin Road. Most people who live and drive in the area knew the construction and road closures were coming. However, they didn’t plan on losing a popular detour round to the south on Southport Road.

A short portion of Southport Road, west of Franklin Road, has suddenly closed in recent days for emergency bridge repair. The Department of Public Works got an emergency declaration to expedite repairs on a failing culvert bridge and closed the road in both directions.

“Southport Road is an important artery if you’re going to close Edgewood, not just at one intersection, but two intersections at the same time,” said Franklin Township resident Anita Feliciano Bringle.

She said the culvert bridge on Southport Road has been falling apart for several months, and DPW should have repaired it before closing Edgewood Avenue.

DPW spokesperson Ben Easley said rapid deterioration of the bridge has made it an immediate safety concern.

“Putting plates on it and putting band-aids on it doesn’t work anymore,” Easely said. “And we need to make sure our Indy residents are safe and that we’re closing that road.”

“I do believe it can’t wait any longer,” Feliciano Bringle said.  “I completely agree with that, I just don’t know how they didn’t notice four weeks ago before they closed the roads.”

Confusion over the traffic situation was evident Wednesday. Some detour signs were still directing Edgewood Avenue traffic onto Southport road Wednesday afternoon. In one area, detour arrows point traffic directly into the barricades where Southport Road is barricaded off. Several cars and trucks were seen rolling up to the closure, turning around and heading off in the other direction.

Easley said any detour signs directing traffic to Southport Road should be removed at some point Wednesday. Traffic will now be diverted from roundabout construction to the north and Thompson Road.

“We know this is going to be a pain point for some people briefly, but we hope they will be patient with us as we direct them around it and go forward with that fix.”

Edgewood Avenue roundabout construction at Arlington and Franklin is scheduled to be finished in August. After that, roundabouts at the intersections of Arlington and Shelbyville Road, and Thompson and Franklin Roads will take place from August until October.

Currently, there is no time frame or completion date set for the Southport Road bridge repairs. Easley said a contractor was working on three potential repair plans for DPW will choose from.

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