Keystone Ave. project continues as businesses look forward to an end

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INDIANAPOLIS — Construction on Keystone Ave. is at the halfway point of the second phase and is expected to finish in late October.

Crews are working on the portion of Keystone Ave. between River Rd. and Woodfield Crossing. Right now, the Northbound lanes are open, while the Southbound lanes undergo renovations.

Tim Reynolds owns Comic Carnival, it’s just off Keystone Ave. right before River Rd. Reynolds is looking forward to an end to construction.

“Please finish this as soon as possible,” he said.

Reynolds said since construction began in the Spring, he has seen his number of customers drop.

“It is very difficult, especially during high traffic time, to get to our store,” he said.

Reynolds said their biggest difficulties were in the first phase of the project when crews were working on Keystone Ave. between 65th St. and River Rd.

Now that the construction has moved on to the next phase and isn’t right out in front of them, he said business has gotten better, but it’s not back to what it was.

“The vast majority of our customers are coming down from the North and it is still difficult,” he said.

Just a few storefronts from Comic Carnival is El Mezcal. Jorge Mendoza, a manager at El Mezcal, said they’ve seen business get a lot better since the project moved to its second phase.

“It was slow, very slow the first time, but now it’s very good,” Mendoza said.

Some may notice a difference between the finished portion of Keystone Ave between 65th St. and River Rd. compared to work south of that on Keystone Ave. last year.

In 2020, Keystone Ave. between 39th St. and 65th St. was resurfaced, that will not be the case with this latest project.

Hannah Scott-Carter, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Works, said the work along Keystone from 65th St. to I-465 will involving replacing damaged parts of the road.

“So, that will be partial and full-depth reconstruction, partial depth is when there is a joint in the concrete that is failing,” she said. “We’ll just take the joints around that segment out and repair it. Full is a larger, further down failure in the road.”

Along with reconstructing damaged parts of the road, Scott-Carter said there will be other improvements added on.

“Throughout the project, there are curb replacements and improvement to intersections and new ADA ramps,” she said.

Scott-Carter said the goal is to have phase 2, construction along Keystone Ave. from River Rd. to Woodfield Crossing, done by the end of August. Along with that, they’re hoping to reopen the Keystone Ave. and 75th St. intersection at the end of August, too.

The final phase with construction from Woodfield Crossing to I-465 will begin after that.

Reynolds is worried this may be the worst of it.

“That area with the bridge there is going to be… I don’t know… apocalyptic,” he said.

But, at the end of the day, he said he knows this has to happen and he’s excited for this renovated stretch of road.

“They have long been pothole laden, so I’m glad to see all that stuff will hopefully go away for a few seasons,” Reynolds said.

The entire project is slated to be done by late October 2021.

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