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Blog > Traffic > BRAND NEW Central Avenue Coming To Indy

BRAND NEW Central Avenue Coming To Indy

Popular inbound commuter route will soon covert from a one-way to a two-way street.

(Photo Credit: WIBC Traffic)

A bike riding enthusiast takes an early springtime ride on Kessler Blvd., enjoying the morning sights and sounds in his thong underwear and shiny white sneakers. This is what commuting in Indianapolis is all about: freedom to be in love with your surroundings; freedom of expression.

Central Avenue was a majorly traveled, southbound one-way, and the most popular inbound commuter route from the northeast side. But the Central Ave. bridge over Fall Creek became too old, too decrepit, and simply dangerous to drive on. It closed, and traffic had to go somewhere else.

We’ve been detoured east and west - to College Ave. and Meridian St, UNTIL Meridian was sealed off in both directions from 30th St. to Fall Creek Pkwy., for the much needed and so far successful infrastructure project known as “DigIndy.”

Since then - and allow me to offer some professional traffic termanology (clears throat pretentiously) - traffic has sucked.

Unfortunately, both projects - bridge and Meridian - will be completed around the same time. As it stands, the bridge will still reopen around the end of October, but the corridor itself - Central Ave. - will first undergo a complete rebirth.

Here it is, and hold to the one you love: Central Ave. - from Fall Creek Blvd. to 10th St. - is being converted from a one-way to a two-way corridor.

Yes indeed, it looks like two-way traffic for both morning and afternoon commutes, complete with amenities and all.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS

Starting in July, the city will begin construction on the brand new Central Ave. commuter route. We’re talking resurfacing, new lights, better access to buses, and so on.  Here’s the map on where they’re working:

Central

(Photo Credit: WIBC Traffic)

Construction on the Central Ave. corridor is expected to wrap up by the end of October. The route will be 100-percent when the Central Ave. bridge over Fall Creek reopens at the end of November.  When the whole thing is finally finished, northeast and downtown commuters will have a restructured two-way commuter route from Fall Creek Pkwy. to 10th St., that’s perfectly useful for drivers anytime of day. Exciting, yes?

HERE'S THE RUB

So - at the end of November - we will (hopefully) have this awesome new pothole free street with fancy new traffic lights and plenty of breathing room for cars and buses alike.  It'll flow north and south like a fine wine, free of delays, crashes and slippery roads during the winter (hahahaha).

But what about Central’s easterly neighbor, College Ave.? It’s another very popular commuter route, and also has an old fat bridge over Fall Creek. Will it also need a makeover, including a bridge closure for an extended period of time?

Time will tell, but I have a feeling, and a very credible source...


KISS SHELBY STREET GOODBYE

The DigIndy project continues, and already has paid off by keeping really nauseating stuff out of our fresh waterways. THREE CHEERS FOR WELL THOUGHT OUT URBAN PLANNING!! IT CAN BE DONE!

Remember DigIndy? It’s the massive tunnel project that’s transporting raw sewage from our waterways to a treatment plant.

tunnel

(Photo Credit: Citizens Energy Group)

According to Laura O’Brien of Citizens Energy - the utility overseeing the DigIndy project - the new portion of the tunnel system that opened late last year has prevented 87-million gallons of sewage from entering the White River and Eagle Creek.  You'll never believe this, but I won’t be teaching a master class on infrastructure next semester. I can only offer this remedial analysis:

That's some damn good water.

But, it’s caused quite a traffic calamity for downtown commuters. Remember this guy, the Meridian St. closure?

Meridian

(Photo credit: WIBC Traffic)

Quick side note on that: O’Brien says the expansion under Meridian St. is on schedule, and should be ready to open at the end of November.

BUT, this DigIndy project is colossal, and other street closures are imminent until full completion in 2025.  

Next up? Shelby St.

That’s right, south side. Shelby St. will close from Troy Ave. to Southern Ave. until the end of October. Detours will be posted, and will direct commuters to use Southern Ave., Madison Ave., and Troy Ave until the end of construction.

***Quick Clarification: At the time of publication, Citizens Energy had announced in a press release that the Closure date would be April 2nd. Citizens Energy then revised the date to April 9th.  In other words, this all goes down on Monday, April 9th.  

Here's a map of the action:

Shelby

(Photo Credit: Citizens Energy Group)

Are more closures to come? Good question. O’Brien also said other road closures are possible for this year, but didn’t specify when or where.

As soon as you know, we’ll clue you in. Guaranteed.

All this makes traffic brutal, but it’s a pretty cool infrastructure project that was designed for the long term. I like that. Forethought, and stuff like that.


Alright, we’ll need to get serious about funding for the IndyGo Red Line - the high speed bus service that will run north-south through Indy. The tax money is there, but the federal funding is not, and the project could be in serious jeopardy if that cash wasn’t set aside in the new omnibus bill.  

More to come…

-Bair


Matt Bair is furious that funding for his mail order Russian bride wasn't included in Trump's spending bill. He's the new voice of Indianapolis traffic, and can be followed on Twitter @WIBCTraffic..Tips? Call direct at (317) 684-8134 or the 93 WIBC Newsroom at (317) 637-6397.

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