LAWRENCE — IndyGo Purple Line construction is well underway and creating road closures throughout Indianapolis.
Ahead of closures, IndyGo made sure to work with businesses to try to make sure they had what they needed.
Otis Avenue in Lawrence is currently closed. One business that is positioned near the road says business hasn’t been bad, even with the headache the construction is causing.
"We expected it to kind of hurt our business a little bit as our restaurant is kind of on Otis a little bit," Kyle Fitzgerald, part-owner of Fitzgerald’s Lunch House, said.
The Otis Avenue closure is short-term.
Just across the street from Fitzgerald’s Lunch House is Café Audrey. Owner Tammy Jones said she thinks the Purple Line could bring more customers to her shop, as well as make it easier for employees to get to work.
"There is a whole strategic plan to grow this area of 'The Fort' and I see the Purple Line as fitting right in with that strategic plan," Jones said. "It really will help the whole area flourish."
The Purple Line will connect riders from downtown Indianapolis to Lawrence.
Other businesses and people WRTV spoke with in the area are concerned ridership won't be high enough to make the project worth it, but IndyGo says this new line is needed.
"Route 39 is the line that the Purple Line will be replacing,” Carrie Black, a spokesperson for IndyGo, said. “It is one of our most utilized routes so we would not be investing the millions of dollars that we are investing in this project if we weren't absolutely confident that this is something that's needed."
IndyGo contacted businesses in the area ahead of when construction was set to start. In fact, they held an outreach event on March 17 to chat with local businesses about the upcoming closure.
IndyGo also gave businesses maps and signage to guide their customers to the correct detour route.
Businesses appreciated this effort.
“Yes it can be disruptive to business but I feel like they have done all that they could do to help us with that," Jones said.
IndyGo said they haven’t had any complaints from businesses in Lawrence at this time. If businesses have issues IndyGo encourages them to reach out. The Purple Line is set to be finished in 2024.
IndyGo says as of right now the Purple Line construction timeline is still on schedule. Weather and supply chain issues are factored into that timeline.
To read more about the project click here.