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Over $100M could soon be invested in fixing Indy's aging streets and sidewalks, but more is needed

Posted at 5:34 PM, Aug 17, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS -- More than $100 million could soon be invested in fixing Indianapolis’ aging streets and sidewalks, but city leaders admit it’s only a start to chipping into the massive need across the city.

That includes areas like Shelton Heights near Washington and Holt roads where the condition of the concrete is poor and the sidewalk ends in random places.

Willie Shillings says he’s lived in Shelton Heights for almost 49 years and many things have changed, but the sidewalks – or lack of – isn’t one of them.

“They were going to put some sidewalks in here when we bought this house in 1969,” said Shillings. “But they never did come in. So, we just learned to live with it. Not to worry about it.”

Shillings said they’ve always just used the street when they’re taking a walk.

“When the cars would come we just step off the side like this and let them pass and then get back on the street,” Shillings said.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has allocated $126 million for repairing sidewalks and streets as part of his proposed budget for next year. That money would be used for resurfacing more than 440 lane miles over a four-year period.

“This is a significant increase in our transportation capital plan,” said Department of Public Works Director Dan Parker. “We’re going to eat into the need for bridges and for streets to make a lot of the repairs that came from this last winter.”

DPW Is also requesting bonding to raise $120 million through 2022. They would borrow that money based on the revenue expected from a one cent per gallon increase in the state’s gas tax that went into effect on July 1.

Parker says crews would use that money for long-term projects.

The proposed investments only cover part of the need in the city. DPW says $1.6 billion is needed to install and repair sidewalks and another $750 million is needed to bring the city’s streets to fair condition.

The City-County Council will vote on the budget in the fall.

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