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Aging infrastructure forces closure of Capitol Ave. bridge

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – From now through the end of winter, motorists who drive downtown will have to find a detour.

Indianapolis Department of Public Works crews shut down the Capitol Avenue bridge Monday morning.

The bridge is at the intersection of Capitol Avenue and Fall Creek Parkway.

DPW officials said this closure is because of aging infrastructure.

“As long as they’re trying to do something good and get it together, and repair it, it’s a good thing for it to be done,” said Felicia  Daniel, who uses the bridge daily.

The bridge is over 100 years old.

“With this project specifically, there were some concerns with the infrastructure of the bridge, so the superstructure, the beams,” said Warren Stokes, a spokesman for DPW.

The city will spend nearly $2 million repairing the bridge. They’ll replace some of the beams, the pavement and the railings. The historical design will be preserved.

DPW says it was simply wear and tear thanks to Fall Creek.

The bridge runs southbound. DPW is suggesting you take Meridian Street to get downtown.

“I just have to go around the other streets, so it takes a while to get home,” said Ariana Pearson, who goes to school at nearby Ivy Tech.

“It’s easy to go on the bridge instead of taking the back roads,” said Jared Bleah, who also uses the bridge daily.

“We know the detours can take people ways they’re not used to taking but this is just all for the safety not only of now for our construction crews and pedestrians and motorists, but also for safety in the future,” said Stokes.

This is the second bridge crossing the creek to close this year.

In an emergency move back in January. the city shut the Central Avenue bridge. At the time, the city said it was because of erosion and that the bridge was at risk of collapsing.

“With these bridges, Fall Creek has been here forever, it’s part of Indianapolis and we want to do our best to take care of it,” said Stokes.

The Central Avenue bridge will take two years to replace. But the Capitol Avenue bridge should be completed by the winter. Construction is set to begin in earnest next week.

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