City of Indianapolis releases list of Rebuild Indy 2 projects
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has been pushing the City County Council to sign off on Rebuild Indy 2. The mayor wants to spend $350 million on improving roads, bridges, sidewalks and parks.
Eyewitness News has asked for and on Friday received the actual project list. It covers hundreds of projects. While it doesn't provide the estimated cost of each one, it does show how and where the $350 million in Rebuild Indy 2 funds would be spent over the next three years.
A rough stretch of Churchman on the city's south side is one of 500 roads and alleys that would be re-surfaced under Rebuild Indy 2, which came as good news to Talia Montesonti.
"I've lived on this street for 15 years and I've never seen it this bad before," Montesonti said.
Her husband Chris Flewelling agreed, "We know a lot of people who ride bikes and it's more of a hazard than a joy to ride bikes around here."
Rebuild Indy 2 would also pay for fixing or replacing 38 bridges and culverts. The Central Ave. bridge over Fall Creek would be rebuilt. There are also about 100 streets that would get new or repaired sidewalks and curbs. One is a stretch of Edgewood where Joe Haas lives.
"There's no way for kids to walk down here unless they're on the easement," he said. "There are no sidewalks on either side and traffic in the morning and evening is heavy so [having sidewalks] would help out in the neighborhood."
The plan calls for improvements to intersections and traffic signals and adding new flashing lights near schools across the city. Several city parks would also see upgrades to playgrounds and pools or spray parks. There would also be money to pay for a dog park planned at 21st and the Monon Trail.
Kentucky Avenue between I-465 and Harding is one of eight roads that would get bike lanes. There are also 15 projects targeting the city's greenways.
Marcia Johnson, who was walking along the Monon Trail with her daughter on Friday, said, "I used to be a physical ed teacher at La Porte High School and I'm all for outdoor activity. It's wonderful to see all these people on their bike, walking, enjoying the warm weather."
The people we talked to say improving trails and fixing roads sounds great, if the city can afford it.
Asked about the $350 million price tag, some gave pause.
"That's a lot of money but stuff has to be done, what can you do?" said Flewelling.
But Montesonti said, "I definitely don't want a tax increase."
The mayor has said there won't be any. His plan calls for borrowing $150 million and relying on state and federal grants to cover the rest.
Council Democrats aren't ready to sign off.
Council Vice President John Barth said while "the needs are there," Democrats want to "make sure we have the money to repay the bonds."
Barth said he and Council President Maggie Lewis have met twice with the mayor.
"We'd like to work together to make it happen," Barth said, but added they're still going over the numbers.
Barth wasn't sure when or if the council might vote on Rebuild Indy 2, but Public Works spokesperson Stephanie Wilson said work would get underway quickly once the council signed off.