BROAD RIPPLE, Ind. — A second round of construction is officially underway in the heart of Broad Ripple.
On March 28, construction crews broke ground on a major project to redesign Broad Ripple Avenue. Now, just one week later, a second round of construction has started – this time along College Avenue just north of the already-active construction site.
“Separate from any other projects in the Broad Ripple Avenue area is a project to revamp the College Avenue Bridge over the central canal,” said Ben Easley, a spokesperson for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works. “We didn’t specifically plan them to be moving in the same construction season, but this happens from time to time.”
Easley said they are separate projects, with separate crews, that just so happen to cross paths. He said this latest project will revamp the decking on that portion of the bridge and widen the sidewalks.
“For this project, specifically, we expected to start formal construction this week and be wrapped up by the fall,” said Easley.
That means College Avenue just north of Broad Ripple Avenue will be shut down to vehicular, pedestrian and bike traffic. Westfield Boulevard will remain open, but other detours include Kessler Avenue, Meridian Street and 71st Street.
“We still want people to think of Broad Ripple as being open for business,” said Easley. “Certainly the community leaders that we have interacted with have made that message very clear.”
The city said it has partnered with the Broad Ripple Village Association to minimize the impact on local businesses. Those businesses, like Indy CD & Vinyl, said the impact is inevitable, but they will be glad when it is all over.
“It’s kind of a double edged sword,” said Kelsey Simpson, retail manager at Indy CD & Vinyl. “Broad Ripple really needs this. We do need this progress and this construction, but it’s going to be really difficult to get around.”
Simpson said the weekends are still her busiest days, but she has noticed foot traffic slow during the weekday.
“Not a lot of people want to just walk around – they want to be able to park,” said Simpson. “A lot of people already have problems with the parking.”
Ultimately, Simpson said both projects are going to be a great thing for the neighborhood.
“We’re going to do what we can to keep it fresh and exciting in here and get people to walk over,” said Simpson.
Indy CD & Vinyl will host an event on April 24 to celebrate its 20th Anniversary. For more information, click here.