INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — After hosting visitors and community events for more than 120 years, the Soldiers & Sailors Monument in downtown Indianapolis is getting some well-deserved TLC.
The entire north side of the monument will close later this month for waterproofing and step repair, according to Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Stewart Goodwin, executive director of the Indiana War Memorials Commission.
“Fencing will go up next week from inside the concrete bollards around the north side of the monument. The south side will not be affected during this phase,” Goodwin confirmed Wednesday. “The project is expected to take 30-45 weeks.”
The closure is the next step in a larger repair project that began last fall.
“The steps are delaminating — in other words, they are breaking up — and the reason is because of the drainage system. It’s not working the way it should,” Goodwin told News 8’s Danielle Zulkosky in September.
Water is also getting under the steps and freezing, causing even more damage.
“All steps will be removed to inspect them — and to make repairs on the drainage system — and replaced if no damage is visible,” Goodwin said.
The new steps will be made of stone from a site near the Owen County quarries that provided the monument’s original gray oolitic limestone, according to Goodwin.
When work is complete on the north side of the monument, crews will repeat the project on the south side. Repairs to the south side steps are expected to begin later this year.
Goodwin says the entire project — which also includes the preservation of the monument itself and repairs to walking areas — will cost Hoosier taxpayers about $7 million.