City, state communication breakdown leaves guardrail broken for nearly a year

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A citizen called CBS4 Problem Solvers about a guardrail that sat broken for months, and we found confusion between agencies about who was responsible to fix it.

The guardrail sits along 46th Street near High School Road on the northwest side, as it crosses I-465 going west.

The citizen said she contacted the Mayor's Action Line multiple times, but could not get anyone to fix the smashed guardrail. She said she drove by it a few times a week for months with no action taken.

"People will walk through here, we have people that ride their bicycles through here, there are families that live here close by. So just the safety of the community was also a concern," she said.

That's why she emailed CBS4 Problem Solvers. We pulled up a Google Map image, and found the guardrail looked nearly the same in November 2016, smashed and with a Department of Public Works sign sitting in front of it. By the time we arrived in August, the sign had fallen down and appeared to be untouched.

"They were going to do some research and get back to me, but I never heard anything," the citizen said.

We contacted a DPW spokesperson, who initially said the city believed it was a state issue, since the Indiana Department of Transportation handles bridges over interstates. Two months later, in a follow-up email, the spokesperson said INDOT told the city it was their responsibility.

"Although INDOT did install the bridge and guardrail, they believe they are only responsible for the structure of the bridge and that the guardrail would be maintained by us. In response to our discussion with INDOT our operations team fixed the guardrail last week," the city spokesperson said.

"I did not get a contact but I did see that the bridge was repaired, so I knew that a contact from you guys was what made it happen," the citizen said.

When CBS4 Problem Solvers returned to the area earlier this month, we found the guardrail had finally been repaired. Officials said that the bridge structure was not impacted by the guardrail damage.

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