INDIANAPOLIS — The 30th Street Bridge over the White River was built in 1907 and is due for some maintenance or reconstruction.
“For years the exterior of this bridge has been crumbling, weeds are choking through the concrete, lighting fixtures ripped out and left as empty sockets,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett, perched just upriver from the bridge as he announced plans for this year’s Department of Public Works construction season. “The Riverside Park Bridge rehab contributes to an overall investment of $271 million in transportation and stormwater infrastructure projects that will take place in the construction season of 2022.”
A recent study found that Indianapolis should spend $1 billion a year on bridge, road, sidewalk and trail and stormwater projects.
This year’s budget gets the City a little over a quarter of the way to its annual goal.
“This construction season will put a lot of money into our roadways,” said Hogsett. “We’re able to build out three major pedestrian infrastructure projects this year alone.”
Included will be the widening and resurfacing of the Monon Trail south of 56th Street, the Morris Street streetscape rehabilitation and stormwater improvements to Broad Ripple Avenue plus infrastructure upgrades and multi-modal connections to Broad Ripple Park.
Also, $25 million will be earmarked for repairs and resurfacing of major thoroughfares and another $25 million will be spent on residential streets.
“Districts that have lower medium income got more,” said DPW Director Dan Parker. “We provided councilors with a list of their streets that were rated in the bottom 15 percent of their district.
“A lot of councilors sought feedback from their neighborhoods.”
Parker said after a recent bridge collapse in Pittsburgh, he asked DPW engineers to identify the Indianapolis bridges in most need of repair following biennial inspections.
“We have three bridges in the city that are rated poor,” said Parker, including the 30th Street Bridge. “They’re all programmed, whether this year or in the coming years, for either rehab or reconstruction.”
On a day when falling rain precluded any road work or pothole repairs, City-County Councilor Cristina Carlino indicated many residents dread spring showers that lead to street flooding.
“Stormwater improvements are absolutely crucial and they contribute to a serious quality of life program for our residents,” she said.
So while $164 million will be dedicated to transportation projects, $107 million will be spent on stormwater infrastructure.
This year’s construction season spending does not include the City’s pothole budget, any DPW investments along with IndyGo on Purple Line Construction or $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds that will go toward stormwater projects next year.
The fixes can’t come soon enough for Kristina Lu who blew out two tires on a pothole on Zionsville Road Monday.
“I went directly into the pothole and I ended up immediately with two flat tires on a car that is just barely a year old,” she said. “I need new tires. The rimmed are scratched.
“It’s close to $1,300 to get a new rim and I need two.”
Mayor Hogsett said he empathized with motorists like Kristina who have rumbled across Indianapolis’ battered roads this month.
Kristina had some advice for the mayor.
“Keep filling some of the potholes, some of which have been here for months. I know that they’ve filled them up before but it really makes me not wanna go to work in Indy.”
For more information on major transportation and infrastructure projects visit indy.gov/DPW