INDIANAPOLIS — East Market St. in front of the City Market is back open in downtown Indianapolis, with it comes relief for drivers, bikers, walkers and the vendors inside the market.
The conclusion of construction comes just in time for thousands of fans to make their way to Indy for the College Football Playoff National Championship game on January 10.
The weekend ahead will be packed with events and fun for the whole family, and a few less orange cones around downtown.
East Market St. from Delaware to Alabama Streets reopening means less congestion and better roads for an important part of downtown.
”A historic city block has its road back in better shape than ever before,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, (D) Indianapolis, at the Friday morning ribbon cutting for the new road.
The road is one of several projects that’s bothered folks downtown for quite some time.
“Anywhere you go downtown it seems to be a problem,” said Jacob Harbor, who works two jobs in downtown Indy.
He said it feels like downtown construction is a revolving door, whenever a project ends, another one clogs up a different area.
”It’s been a real hassle to deal with,” said Harbor.
Folks living and working downtown aren’t the only ones relieved the position of East Market St. is reopening, vendors at the City Market have suffered through a pandemic and the construction.
”Now that the street is reopened we hope to welcome everyone back, like today,” said Keisha Harrison, the City Market Executive Director.
Projects ending also means shorter commutes for those walking to and from work every day.
”Getting that probably four or five minutes saved is huge,” said Daniel Elliot, who lives in downtown Indy.
There is still more construction happening downtown – Delaware St. has a few lane restrictions still left and West Market St. right off Monument Circle has the Westbound lane closed.
”We’re trying to get things wrapped up and completed before winter weather hits,” Hannah Scott-Carter, a spokesperson for the Indy Dept. of Public Works.
Winter weather isn’t the only motivation, thousands of college football fans will soon crowd Indy for the College Football Playoff National Championship game.
”You’re going to have 10 times more traffic so might have 10 times more problems,” said Harbor. He said he plans to avoid downtown Indianapolis when all the fans are in town.
DPW is trying to alleviate some of those worries, the Westbound lane of West Market St. will be reopened for the game.
”We wanted to make sure that segment was completely open for visitors and Monument Circle looked nice,” said Scott-Carter.
Elliot said he think that will help a lot of potential problems.
”Congestion would have been nuts,” Elliot said.
Once all the fans have gone home after the big weekend, the second phase of the West Market St. project will begin. The Eastbound lane between Illinois St. and Monument Circle will then get renovations.