INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis city leaders are proposing $10 million in improvements to five downtown overpasses.

“What we’re really looking to do is improve the facade, repair a lot of maintenance under bridge like draining issues, and make structural improvements,” said Rusty Carr, interim director of the Department of Metropolitan Development.

The project is intended to change the perception of these overpasses– often seen as unclean and unsafe.

“Overall, we want to increase the pedestrian experience,” Carr said. “The experience of visitors, residents walking under for work or visiting the city for the game. We want to make sure these are places people actively want to visit instead of places people actively want to stay away from.”

The design plans are awaiting approval from the Indianapolis Historical Preservation Commission in March. The project would not require a tax increase. City officials say funding would come from city funding allocated for such improvements.

“We don’t expect construction to start until mid-2024 and construction would take a couple years after that,” Carr said.

Crews will begin on the three overpasses near Union Station, before moving the overpasses near Delaware Street and Pennsylvania Street.

“We’ll work to improve lighting, as well as make improvements to the streetscape,” Carr added.

Carr says the renovations will cut down on the need for parking and will provide more room for sidewalks.

“Overall, the bridges were built to withstand lots of weight due to railroads,” Carr said. “They’re in good structural condition but it’s really about cleaning it up for the next half-century.”

The city is also planning to update the Union Station deck to make space in the plaza for more visitors, food vendors and entertainment. The project is still in its early stages but we’ll update you when we learn more.