Crumbled road skipped by inspectors


INDIANAPOLIS - The city is making emergency inspections on dozens of bridges after a portion of Keystone Avenue collapsed during this week's severe storms.

The northbound lanes of Keystone south of 86th Street are closed for at least two months after part of the road washed away Monday. 13 Investigates discovered that spot and more than a thousand similar ones don't get state and federally mandated inspections.

Since the space under the roadway is less than 20 feet, it is not considered a bridge and, as a culvert, it escaped regular state and federal inspections. Bridges must be inspected every two years, but not culverts. Even though some carry heavy traffic daily.

"When you see this, you wonder how long that can go on before you have a major event like that and something happens," said one driver.

"Probably make them think twice about inspecting other ones," said another.

Actually, the city was thinking ahead.

"We started, back in March, what's expected to be another nine-month process," said DPW spokesperson Molly Deuberry.

The Department of Public Works' "Rebuild Indy" program started, for the first time, regular culvert inspections. But they hadn't gotten to the one that crumbled.

"It had not been inspected yet, no," Deuberry said.

Inspectors have 1,200 culverts to look at by the end of the year.

"We haven't found any outstanding issues yet, but we're not done," Deuberry said.

If any culverts need immediate repairs, they'll get them using the Rebuild Indy fund. Officials are already targeting 27 bridges for major work, but say there should be no fear about roads falling out from under your car.

"The answer is no, we don't have any reason to be concerned," Deuberry said.

In the meantime, drivers are glad the city is taking the initiative.

"I guess I had never thought about it before. This is certainly eye-opening," a driver said.