Rain, isolated storms expected Wednesday night in central Indiana

Open manhole finally covered after CBS4’s calls

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Neighbors say a manhole cover has been off and on the side of Brookville Road for months.

An Indianapolis man says it’s dangerous and he’s tried to get someone to solve the problem for weeks.

Ron Huggler, who lives in the neighborhood, believes the open manhole really became a problem a month ago. That’s when he says the barrier that used to around it, disappeared.

“That’s when I began this effort to try to get something done,” said Huggler. “Because I’m afraid somebody’s either going to wreck their car or a child’s going to fall in the hole.”

Huggler says he first called the Mayor’s Action Center on July 20 to report the problem.

“They told me they are not responsible for those curb or storm drains,” Huggler recounts, “[They said] that Citizens Energy were the people who took care of those things. So I called Citizens Energy.”

Huggler says he received a service number, but when nothing changed, he called back twice more. He also started calling the city’s Department of Public Works, but says he was never able to reach anyone.

“Almost every time I do talk to someone, I say, ‘Well why don’t you just send somebody out to that intersection and see what’s going on?’” said Huggler. “Of course that got absolutely zero response.”

Sarah Holsapple of Citizens Energy tells CBS4 they receive dozens of calls every year about manhole covers that have been removed due to car accidents, snowplows and other incidents. Holfsapple says they try to fix them as quickly as possible and she’s working to confirm exactly when they first received a call or noted the manhole cover was off. Regardless, she says the issue at hand now is to get it fixed.

“Our top priority is safety and we want to make sure folks in the neighborhood are safe and that people who are walking by are safe or driving by are safe, so what we want to do tonight is secure the location the best way that we can,” said Holsapple.

Around 8:30 p.m., a Citizens Energy worker came by to put the manhole cover back in place, but did not seal it. That temporary fix, along with cones placed by DPW workers earlier in the evening, is what Ron says he wanted to see all along. He just believes it should’ve happened much sooner.

“In the future, I just hope that you don’t have to go to four or five different organizations or divisions or city services to try to get something done,” said Huggler.

Holsapple says crews will be back to seal the cover in place within two weeks.

If you see an open manhole or storm drain and need to report it, call 317-924-3311.

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