The long-anticipated closure of Broad Ripple Avenue began Tuesday, but it’s not as disruptive as previously planned.
The popular bar destination will get an $8.4 million makeover that includes a full street reconstruction from College Avenue to the Monon Trail crossing near Winthrop Avenue. The project also includes a new 12-foot multi-use path from the Monon to the park near Primrose Avenue.
Only the section from College to Winthrop will require a full road closure, because it involves rebuilding the road with wider sidewalks, new stormwater treatment structures and drains, upgraded curbs, lighting and more greenspace.
The original plan was to close Broad Ripple Avenue from College to Winthrop avenues for 135 days, or about four and a half months, this fall. Citizens Energy Group began relocating utilities in March.
But since utility relocation took longer than expected, the Department of Public Works is breaking up the closures so that they don’t work during the heart of winter, public information officer Lane Wolf said. Construction, and associated closures, will now happen in two smaller phases.
As of Tuesday, the 1-block section of Broad Ripple Avenue from Guillford to Winthrop avenues is closed to vehicle traffic until December. Then in the spring they’ll close the section from College to Guillford avenues.
The goal now is to wrap up by next summer.
Universal supply chain issues weren’t the only reason for the project’s extension. Crews made the “unexpected discovery” of railroad tracks down the center of Broad Ripple Avenue, which had to be removed so Citizens could install a new water main, public affairs manager Laura O’Brien said. Then a few of the new water mains needed multiple rounds of water quality testing to get a passing grade, which also added to the timeline, she said.
During construction, pedestrians still will be able to access the closed sections on sidewalks. During the first phase, drivers will be able to cross Broad Ripple Avenue via Guilford Avenue, but east-west traffic will be detoured to Kessler Boulevard.
The city worked with the Broad Ripple Village Association to coordinate rideshare pickup zones and food carryout and delivery zones on Guillford and Winthrop avenues south of Broad Ripple Avenue.
All users of the road will have access to Broad Ripple Avenue between the Monon and Primrose Avenue while the 12-foot path is being built.
Contact IndyStar transportation reporter Kayla Dwyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @kayla_dwyer17.