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‘It’s a death trap’: New Monon Trail bridge to go up over busy 38th Street

It’s a death trap’: New Monon Trail bridge to go up over busy 38th Street

Jenny Dreasler | News 8 at 11:00

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A popular portion of the Monon Trail is set to get a multimillion-dollar makeover.

A new proposal aims to make a part of the trail near 38th Street and the Indiana State Fairgrounds safer.

“It’s a death trap,” said Ashton Kleemann, who was biking on the Monon Trail Thursday.

“There’s a lot of cars! It’s dangerous!” added Rosaura Camora, who was walking on the Monon Trail Thursday.

Over and over again, as cars whizzed by, people on the Monon Trail near 38th Street and College Avenue, told News 8 how daunting it was trying to get to the other side.

“It’s a little nerve-racking,” said Allen Sledge who was biking on the Monon Trail Thursday.

The issue is exactly why the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and the Indiana Department of Transportation are looking to make the portion of the Monon safer, by adding a bridge that will put bicyclists and pedestrians nearly 20 feet above traffic altogether.

“This proposed project will lead the Monon Trail over 38th Street and there’s a lot of lanes of traffic right there, and safety is the name of the game,” said Ben Easley, a spokesperson with DPW.

During an open house Thursday night, officials with DPW laid out what the bridge will look like.

People gave feedback and asked questions about the new plan.

The $5.5 million project has already been funded in a deal from both INDOT and DPW.

Right now, those who use the Monon have to navigate six lanes of busy traffic.

“It’s definitely too wide of a road for this major of a bike trail to be using, so it’s definitely a dangerous spot on the Monon,” said Craig White, who was biking on the Monon, Thursday.

The bridge will improve trail safety and mobility by eliminating the crossing at 38th while maintaining connectivity to the existing trail system.

The plan also calls for sidewalk connections and a Pacers Bikeshare station.

The changes are all people we talked to who use the Monon are happy to see.

“It’s absolutely time! It will be exciting to see them make things safer for bikers and runners,” said Sledge.

Once INDOT approves bids on the project, work could get underway as soon as January and wrap up by November of 2020.