Church volunteer spends hours cleaning up as road goes unpaved for years

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A retired man who takes care of the grounds at his church said he’s sick of cleaning up asphalt as crews patch the road again and again.

Charlie Murdock’s church, St. Andrew the Apostle, sits along 38th Street near Sherman Drive. Murdock called CBS4 Problem Solvers because he said that the road has deteriorated so much that it’s difficult for cars, buses, and trucks to navigate.

“Every inch along here has been patched, and the other side is almost as bad,” Murdock said.

The church’s parking lot butts up to the road, and there’s no sidewalk or curb, so asphalt and debris ends up on the lot, which Murdock periodically has to sweep up and dump in piles at the back of the property.

Murdock, a retiree who volunteers his time as a groundskeeper, said it often takes him 12 hours or more to fully clean the area.

“I’m a young 72… I don’t know how long I’ll be doing this, but somebody’s got to do it,” Murdock said.

CBS4 Problem Solvers found out that large parts of 38th Street are on the city’s 2018 construction schedule, but it does not include the church’s stretch. Instead, crews will reconstruct and re-pave portions between Keystone and Sherman, as well as Emerson and Arlington, on either side of the church.

“They know what needs to be done. They know that this out here, you can’t patch it anymore,” Murdock said.

A spokesperson for Indianapolis’ Department of Public Works told CBS4 that the areas under construction have been planned for years, and will cost at least $3 million.

“We are not skipping the intersection, we are working within the funding that we have available,” the spokesperson said in part. “We have the section you referred to as a need, but repairing it will depend on the available transportation funding we receive for both design and construction to improve roads, sidewalks, and bridges in the future.”

CBS4 Problem Solvers learned that the area does fall within IndyGo’s new rapid transit purple line, and is scheduled to be re-paved, but not until 2019.

In the meantime, Murdock said he thinks the problem will only get worse.

“Sometimes you get tired, sometimes you get frustrated, and sometimes you get downright angry, and this makes me angry, why I have to keep doing this,” Murdock said.

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