Desperate residents contact FOX59 about pothole-ridden northwest side road

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INDIANAPOLIS — Confusion over who is supposed to maintain a road on Indianapolis’ northwest side led desperate residents to contact FOX59 for help.

Crystal Bay Drive, near 71st and Michigan, cuts through an apartment complex and had become nearly impassable due to massive potholes and areas of road worn down below the pavement. Along the road, you can see tire tracks through the grass from drivers trying to get around the holes.

“This is how they get to their houses, they have to make a whole other road,” neighbor Lori Walker said.

Walker was one of several people who contacted FOX59 after her complaints to the city didn’t go anywhere. She visits a friend, who is on dialysis, at the complex a few times a week.

“I take it slow, real slow, and I pray that my car does not fall apart,” Walker said.

FOX59 confirmed that despite cutting through the complex, the road is considered a city right of way, leaving it up to the Indianapolis Department of Public Works to fix. Despite requests going back to early March on the city’s pothole viewer, crews did not arrive until Friday.

“It’s really bad and it could’ve been prevented,” Walker said. “I called last year and … I’m quite sure other people called last year and there’s still nothing being done.”

DPW Spokesperson Ben Easley blamed the delay on the city’s priority index, which puts residential roads below thoroughfares for repairs.

“We do prioritize thoroughfares,” Easley said. “It’s just a matter of putting together a work plan that includes the thoroughfares nearby.”

Easley noted that a road does rise in priority when the city receives multiple complaints. Crews showed up and patched Crystal Bay Drive on Friday, following FOX59’s request.

Residents and Walker noted, though, that it would take more than pothole patching to fix the road in the long term.

“I think they need to dig it up and resurface it,” Walker said. “These are low income apartments, they don’t deserve to be treated like this, it’s not okay.”

If you are unsure who is responsible for road repairs near your home, you can use the city’s mapping tool to find out if it’s in the right of way. You can also report potholes using the city’s pothole request tool at the link here.

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