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Homeowners near North Split fear damage as their houses shake during construction

2-year project underway on north side of downtown
Posted at 8:51 AM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 10:35:09-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Historic homes near the ongoing North Split project are experiencing a great deal of shaking, and their owners fear structural damage will be the result.

It's happening as the Indiana Department of Transportation lays the groundwork for the $350 million North Split reconstruction project. The state's second-busiest interchange will close for 18 months around May 22, and work has been underway since late 2020.

In the shadow of the project are more than 100 historic homes and properties.

The shaking bulbs in Janice and Edwin Newton's house are shedding light on the problem, and they hope it will catch the attention of movers and shakers behind the project.

"There is an exorbitant amount of noise and inside our home, we're feeling tremendous vibrations and shaking of our furniture and ourselves. We are experiencing that," Janie Newton said.

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The Newtons spent nearly two years investing $350,000 restoring their 129-year-old home in their quiet neighborhood on East 14th Street. The couple and their neighbors are concerned about the noise, along with the foundations and frameworks of their homes.

"What we would like to happen, we would like the companies that are involved to identify and implement a less invasive measure to accomplish their goal," Janice Newton said.

WRTV spent the past few days talking to homeowners about their fears, so we took their concerns to INDOT.

INDOT has placed multiple devices that measure vibrations around the neighborhood. It will also send construction crews an alert when the vibrations get to 75% of the allowable limit.

Mallory Duncan, an INDOT spokesperson, said no monitors have yet experienced a triggering event and all vibrations have been under half the limit.

Under federal law, an impact study is required to determine how the project would impact homes and properties. INDOT also consulted with historic preservation groups.

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The North Split will close for an 18-month reconstruction project around Monday, May 22, 2021.

The state also set up a vibration plan to address potential damage within 140 feet of construction activities. In September, the state sent crews to check the inside and outside of homes before construction began.

Homeowners want assurances that their properties will be repaired if there is damage during and after the North Split project is complete.

"As part of this entire construction process, we will go back to surveys again at their homes they don't have to set it up we will come in we'll do those surveys for the homeowners," Duncan said. "If here is damage it will be assessed and paid for."

It is recommended that homeowners allow the state to survey their property so they will have proof if their home sustains damage during construction. A survey can be requested by going to INDOT4U.com.

NORTH SPLIT COVERAGE | Interstate 70 lanes east of North Split will shift Thursday for reconstruction project | The North Split will close in May for 18 months. Here's what that means for your commute. | Michigan Street ramp will close Monday as part of North Split project | Almost time: North Split construction to begin in mid-December | 'Under the highway': How interstates divided Indianapolis neighborhoods and displaced 17,000 people

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