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Refurbished section of Broad Ripple Avenue reopens

The construction project has been hard on local businesses that sit on the main drag through Broad Ripple.

INDIANAPOLIS — After several months of construction, a busy section of Broad Ripple Avenue is back open and local business owners say it's right on time for the holidays.

"Today is better than any Christmas present I could have asked for. We are so happy today," said the owner of Union Jack Pub, Chelsey Wetzel. 

For the past several months the view outside the pub's windows was construction. Wetzel said she has a lot to be grateful for. 

"Today, I walk up to cars driving by our front door, which is all we wanted for months," she said.

The construction project has been hard on local businesses that sit on the main drag through Broad Ripple.

"It was rough. I told people we were down worse than we were during COVID, during some of it. It was a struggle," said Wetzel.

Credit: WTHR/DroneCam 13

The Broad Ripple drainage project is part of the Indianapolis Department of Public Works' $8.5 million investment in Broad Ripple Avenue. It allowed DPW to place a 48-inch pipe under the street and connect to other pipes to alleviate flooding along the street and the neighborhood business district.

“First and foremost, we are thankful to our city officials for recognizing the need for stormwater improvements in our area and for the positive reception towards the cosmetic improvements to beautify the space and increase pedestrian safety,” said Jordan Dillon, executive director of Broad Ripple Village Association.

The project also included roadway reconstruction and widened sidewalks. Wetzel said although it was a headache, it was worth it.

"I think we all dreamt of a more walkable village coming off the Monon. It's becoming a reality. It's really so much more comfortable to walk the avenue now," she said.

Customer LaNetta Alexander agreed. She's glad to see the road open and believes the city is doing a great job getting the job done.

"It's one of the most popular, fun, vibrant parts of the city, so it needs to come back in a big way," said Alexander. 

Since this is only phase one of the project, Wetzel said it's more important now than ever for customers to support these businesses before phase two begins.

"Over the next couple of months, please come and support us. We have a lot of rebuilding to do, all of the businesses in the village, so we are ready to survive phase two," she said.

Indy DPW will resume the project in the spring and extend the stormwater line from Guilford to College avenues, which will close the western segment of Broad Ripple Avenue. Businesses will be accessible via sidewalks. 

The stretch between Winthrop and Guilford avenues will remain fully open during the spring work.

DPW estimates a total cost of more than $8.5 million for the project, which also includes a multi-use trail connecting Broad Ripple Park to the Monon Trail and Broad Ripple Village.

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