INDIANAPOLIS — If you’re at Marion University traveling along West 30th Street and trying to go to the neighborhoods east of Riverside Park, you can’t get there because the White River Bridge is in the midst of its once-in-one-hundred-years $15 million rebuild, and more street closures are on the way this week across Indianapolis.
“There are new closures along Vandergriff Road, Bridgeport Road, Kessler and several local streets in the Avalon Hills neighborhood on the northside,” said Ben Easley of the Department of Public Works as he totaled up the City’s entire public works construction budget for the year. “It’s $270 million for the entirety of our engineering program, that includes both transportation projects and stormwater.
“We are reaching the peak of construction season. The majority of the projects that we had planned to start in 2022 are now underway or they are shortly starting here in the next weeks or months.”
On the other side of town, along a stretch of East 38th Street, drivers heading westbound will find themselves detoured eight blocks north for the next four months.
“The signs are going up today,” said IndyGo Communications Director Carrie Black. “Going into effect tomorrow there will be a closure on 38th Street between Emerson and Keystone Avenue. What people can expect is there will be an eastbound lane that will be open but traffic will be closed heading westbound.”
IndyGo will be building a significant stretch of the Purple Line that will eventually connect Lawrence with downtown Indianapolis and will need to close most of that portion of East 38th Street to accommodate the eventual location of boarding stations.
“The stations for the Purple Line are going to be set up in the center just like the stations are set up for the Red Line so they’ll be set up in the center,” said Cline.
Outside of Phyre Smokes just east of Keystone Avenue IndyGo has posted a sign telling customers the store is still open.
“They do assume that we’re closed,” said owner Bashar Hagais. “A lot of people do think that because the project is going on, the Purple Line is going on, that we’re closed. We’re still open. They think the road is closed and that all businesses are closed, and that’s not the case.”
Despite the proposed detour that will take westbound motorists north to 46th Street to avoid the construction, IndyGo insists it will provide signage and access through the work zone to those businesses that line the northside of 38th Street.
“38th Street is a very busy street and it probably sees thousands of cars a day,” said Hagais, “so when you say that you’re limiting that traffic because of road closures and road work, of course, it’s going to affect the business.”
The Purple Line is set to open in early 2024.