DPW explains ‘no-win’ decision to close College Avenue bridge with Central still shut down


College Ave. bridge

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Driving through the near north side is about to get more challenging as the College Avenue bridge will shut down on Monday for repairs. The closure is expected to last 60 days.

The City is reopening Meridian at 28th Street to help ease congestion, but the Central Avenue bridge will remain closed. That cuts off two major north-south routes in and out of Indianapolis. And some people are not happy about the plan.

"It seems like it happens all at once. Like the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing," said homeowner Cheryl Strain.

"It’ll be worse," added Trent Ward, a commuter from Noblesville. He wished the City would have spaced out the projects. "Would’ve been a lot easier than closing two or three."

Dan Parker, Director of the Department of Public Works, tried to explain what he called a "no-win decision".

"We need to get this done before the winter," he said.

Parker admitted, his original plan was to finish up the Central Ave. bridge - part of the City's big Dig Indy Project - before starting on the College Ave. bridge. But with major delays at Central and a looming winter, this was the only solution that made sense.

"With the Red Line construction coming in early 2019, the goal was to get that bridge fixed," said Parker. "If we wait for Central to be done, the IndyGo construction will be done and then we close the bridge, and then it’s just adding to commuter frustration.”

DPW suggests drivers who normally use College to divert over to Dr. Andrew J Brown instead.

(Click here to see a map of detours)

Not everyone is upset though. Goose the Market sits on wide-open Delaware Street which boasts free parking. More traffic diverting onto Delaware in the evening could mean more customers that have never seen the business before.

"The traffic slows down a little bit, maybe they have time to kind of look right and look left and kind of check out some new places in the neighborhood. We love that!" said Corrie Quinn with Goose the Market.

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