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Long-neglected west side neighborhood looks forward to roadwork

A milling machine prepares to mill the surface of Firestone Circle in the far west side, April 18, 2024. (Photo by Enrique Saenz/Mirror Indy)

INDIANAPOLIS (MIRROR INDY) — Cynthia Pearman has lived in her home in the Country Club Pines neighborhood on the far west side for about 17 years. 

The neighborhood got its name from its proximity to the Country Club of Indianapolis, which is just across the street. But despite the luxury its name implies, the streets in Country Club Pines are anything but luxurious.

Potholes and uneven sidewalks plague the neighborhood, just like they do all across the city, making commuting, or even pulling out of the driveway, hard on vehicles. The condition of the sidewalks have even harmed local residents.

“We’ve had elderly people trip and get really hurt on the sidewalks,” Pearman said. “The potholes just get bigger and come back every year.”

Indianapolis Department of Public Works crews repaired a sidewalk, seen here April 18, 2024. (Photo by Enrique Saenz/Mirror Indy)

Hope is on the horizon. Thanks to an increase in state funding, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced April 18 that the Department of Public Works will resurface nine streets in the neighborhood, as well as fix the sidewalks and add curbs compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Other neighborhood road repairs

Indianapolis allocated $25 million for neighborhood road repairs this year, and this time around the city wants to focus on completing work in neighborhoods such as Country Club Pines where it makes sense financially rather than taking a scattershot approach. 

Other areas of focus include Riverside in the near northwest, Camby in the southwest side, the Arlington Woods neighborhood in the northeast side and various other residential streets, including throughout the east and west sides.

On the east side, some repairs also will be done on residential streets near schools, churches and other locations with heavy through traffic, such as portions of Bolton Avenue and 31st Street near the Eastern Star Church, North Bazil Avenue near the IMPD Training Academy and Guilford Avenue near the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  

Among the projects on the west side, DPW will resurface about a quarter mile of Annette Street near several churches, a portion of Lynhurst Avenue north of the Sam Jones Expressway and Tybalt Lane near the Eagle Creek Community Church.

In all, the Department of Public Works will resurface about 140 street segments throughout the city.

‘We weren’t the priority’

At Country Club Pines, Pearman had petitioned the city to have their sidewalks and streets repaired for years but was told that limited funds prevented DPW from fixing the roads in her neighborhood and many others across the city. 

“We weren’t the highest priority. We get it,” Pearman said. “There’s worse roads in the cIty that need to be done, and we’re not a through-neighborhood or anything.”

Changes to how the state allocates road funding have allowed the city to access millions more dollars for road repairs in residential areas.

The budget was bolstered by an additional $8 million state lawmakers sent to Indianapolis thanks to a 2023 law that changed the state’s funding formula. Essentially, Senate Bill 283, sponsored by Senate Republicans Aaron Freeman and the late Jack Sandlin, and Democratic Sen. Fady Qaddoura, corrected a technical error that left the populations of Decatur, Pike and Wayne townships out of the Marion County population count.

DPW Director Brandon Herget said the additional funding has allowed the department to build out its residential resurfacing program.

“We’ve evolved over time and we’re using data now to address (areas with) the most need first across the county,” Herget said. 

The department uses pavement condition index, Mayor’s Action Center reports and councilor feedback when deciding which residential roads get preference.

To submit a report, call the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4622 Monday through Friday or submit a report online at RequestIndy.  

Mirror Indy reporter Enrique Saenz covers west Indianapolis. Contact him at 317-983-4203 or Follow him on X @heyEnriqueSaenz