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Residents of Indy’s Old Southside neighborhood frustrated by construction delays

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Posted at 6:17 PM, Aug 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-04 19:06:33-04

 INDIANAPOLIS — A major change is expected to come to Indy’s Old Southside.

Once the construction is complete, the project is expected to give the community more access to downtown.

“It’s been neglected for so many years,” Rick Fisher said.

Fisher says he has lived in the area for decades, but says he isn’t thrilled with the expected change.

“You either embrace it, curse it or move,” Fisher said.

Old southside construction

This project is just one of several around the city where one-way streets are being reduced to two lanes of traffic to make room for sidewalks and bike lanes.

“I don’t see all the foot traffic that’s supposed to be going into downtown but that’s expected to change with all of this going on,” Fisher said.

The project started more than a year ago, but officials say they have run into some issues. Shortages on materials have led to delays.

The NBA All Star game will be coming to Indianapolis in February 2024 and the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in March.

“Now they are trying to hurry up and get it all done because we have all this coming up next year. They want to have it nice and new for everybody that’s going to visit,” Fisher said.

Fisher will tell you that the added closures have made it a nightmare to get in and out of his neighborhood.

“You see, people here are parked backwards. That’s a heck of a turn they have to make to get through that alley,” Fisher said.

DPW crews were back out working on the streets Friday. Officials with DPW expect the project to complete by the summer of 2024.

Indy DPW has been proactively communicating with area residents and businesses throughout the South Meridian project. The department has continued meeting regularly with the neighborhood since the time that unrecorded utilities were discovered in the project area, resulting in delays to phase one of the project.

While the project saw these initial delays, DPW has worked ahead to check for unrecorded utilities prior to the start of phases two and three so that similar delays do not occur. The project remains on track to be completed on the adjusted construction timeline:
  • Phase two began this week and will be completed later this year. Meridian Street is closed between Ray and Morris streets.
  • Meridian Street will then be open for vehicular traffic until the start of phase three in Spring 2024.
  • During phase three, Meridian Street will be closed between Ray and McCarty streets.
Indy DPW