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How safe are Indianapolis' bridges? City's public works department says these 9 need work

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Posted at 7:25 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 07:02:10-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Department of Public Works has over 500 bridges to monitor, nine of which the department has deemed to be in "poor" condition.

The 30th Street bridge over the White River, one of the nine in need of repairs, is set to be fixed this year for a cost of $15M. But the other eight aren't scheduled to be fixed this year.

DPW officials say that's not due to a lack of funding. Instead, those bridges just don't meet the criteria to need immediate attention.


Every bridge in "poor" condition except the one at East Thompson Road over Dollar Hide Creek has received funding.

When it comes to safety, officials look for things like the superstructure deck of the bridge people drive over, overall safety, and the bridge's ability to maneuver flood water.

The department is required to inspect all of its bridges every two years and compile that information into a report that lets DPW officials know which bridges need work.

"Any bridge that is even remotely close to being a public safety risk would be closed immediately," Dan Parker, the director of Indianapolis DPW, said.

"We have been programming and following the bridge inventory making sure that we are actually dealing with these. We have over 500 bridges in the city. This is one area where we know we have to stay on top of because there is a public safety risk and folks want to know it's safe to cross a bridge," Parker said.

These are the bridges deemed "poor" by DPW:

  • 16th Street over Little Eagle Creek
  • 16th Str./MLK Jr. over Indianapolis Water Co Canal
  • Westfield Blvd. over I.W.C Canal
  • Franklin Rd over Miller Ditch
  • 30th Street over White River
  • 29th Street over Indianapolis Water Co Canal
  • Fall Creek Road over Mud Creek
  • Thompson Road over Dollar Hide Creek
  • Emerson Avenue over Bean Creek
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If a bridge is in "poor" condition, DPW officials say they inspect it every six months to make sure the bridge is safe to walk and drive across.

INDOT covers 5,600 bridges across the state and officials there say 40 of their bridges deemed to be in "poor" condition are being repaired in the North split construction project.