The Indianapolis Department of Public Works will start the second phase of Broad Ripple Avenue construction next month.
The multi-year project invests more than $8.6 million in the overhaul of Broad Ripple Avenue from the Monon Trail to College Avenue. DPW Director Brandon Herget said much of the work centers on sewer and drainage improvements.
“This construction project will lay new stormwater infrastructure under the avenue to alleviate historic flooding,” Herget said.
Street rehabilitation, lighting and sidewalk widening are also key parts of the DPW project. The first phase closed the avenue from Guilford Avenue to Winthrop Avenue. That work was completed earlier than expected last year.
A section of the roadway from Guilford Avenue to College Avenue is set to close April 3. That closure will last until August, more than double the time some businesses hoped for.
Those establishments will remain open during the street closure, and DPW said businesses will be accessible to pedestrians.
Broad Ripple Village Association Executive Director Jordan Dillon said the construction work is vital, but the longer timeframe is an unexpected challenge.
“We are disappointed that this project is expected to take nearly 60% longer than what we were originally told and in the lack of planning for emergency services,” Dillon said.
Dillon said construction along the busy stretch presents safety concerns for patrons that haven’t been addressed.
“Right now in the current plan, our fencing goes right up to the sidewalk and on the other side of the sidewalk there’s a wall,” Dillon said.
Dillon added that businesses in the popular bar and entertainment district are already struggling, and the longer closure will have an economic impact.
The project comes after months of public engagement about the process. Herget said the start date was delayed after community input.
“Just out of respect – that so many businesses depend on March Madness and St. Patrick's Day and events like that,” Herget said.
DPW said update meetings will be held and businesses will have direct contact with managers in case of any problems.
The completion of all construction is expected in August.