INDIANAPOLIS — The Department of Public Works officially kicked off its second round of construction along Broad Ripple Avenue.
It’s part of a multi-million dollar overhaul from the Monon Trail to College Avenue. The project resumes after a portion of work was done along Broad Ripple Avenue last year.
The work includes sewer and drain improvements, which will close a portion of the roadway for some time.
“There are several different elements to the work,” said Jayson Watt, administrator of construction for Indianapolis DPW. “One is installing the new storm sewer right down the middle of the road. And then we’ll come back and install laterals and inlets at the curb line.”
The overhaul also involves street rehabilitation, lighting and sidewalk widening, much like last year’s round of work. While sidewalks on the northern side of the street will look mostly the same when complete, sidewalks on the south side of the roadway will be significantly expanded to 12 feet.
“The main reason we’re expanding the sidewalks is to increase safety and to calm vehicular traffic in this area,” Watt said. “And basically create a more walkable city in the Broad Ripple area for the residents and businesses.”
The construction sits right on the doorsteps of some local businesses. Though sidewalks are mostly open in the area, some shop owners are worried about customers getting to their businesses.
“In the Broad Ripple area there’s no parking space except parking on the streets,” said Hamza Albabli, whose family owns Sahara Restuarant on Broad Ripple Avenue.
Hamza said he worries he will see fewer customers stop in his restaurant. He said it has happened before during previous construction.
“All the Uber Eats, DoorDash and GrubHub drivers find they can’t find parking when they come here to take their order to the customer,” he said.
This round of work will be broken into two phases. The first phase will close down a portion of Broad Ripple Avenue from Guilford to Carrollton for eight weeks. The second phase will close down a portion of the roadway from College to Guilford, but Guilford will be completely reopened to all traffic.
DPW said breaking this round of construction into different sections is designed to help businesses.
“We want people to know that Broad Ripple is still open for business,” Watt said. “That’s important not only for the project but also for the businesses in the area.”
Hamza said he is looking forward to the final product, but hopes customers still come by in the meantime.
“It’s going to look nicer for the people, and I think it’s a very good idea, but at this moment it’s affecting businesses,” he said.
The project is expected to be done this fall. DPW asks drivers to follow detours and drive slowly while construction lasts. Drivers can expect closures along Broad Ripple Ave for the next several months.