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City targets Georgia Street for $12.5M makeover

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City planners want to transform a three-block stretch of Georgia Street in downtown Indianapolis into a “pedestrian-friendly” area suited for hosting large groups of visitors to downtown events.

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works announced Tuesday morning plans for the $12.5 million project extending from Capitol Avenue to Pennsylvania Street.

Work is scheduled to begin late this year and would be finished by the 2012 Super Bowl. Georgia Street will continue to serve as a two-way street and will only be closed to traffic for special events.

“The Georgia Street improvements will convert a street which carries very little vehicular traffic into a pedestrian-friendly public space,” Mayor Greg Ballard said in a written statement.

The project will mostly be funded by a federal grant and will include new sidewalks, pavement, lighting and other amenities. In addition, the street will feature electrical, lighting and sound capabilities to accommodate events.

Once finished, the corridor would link the expanded Indiana Convention Center, set to be finished in January, to the west with Conseco Fieldhouse to the east.

“We will have a convention and community event venue that extends beyond the doors of our new Convention Center space for the meeting and entertainment needs of our customers,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, in a prepared statement.
 

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  • Sidewalks
    I hope for $12 million they can put in some premium side walks on Georgia Street. Most cities have top notch side walks in the heart of their tourism districts.
  • You can't trust these financials
    Mark Miles is throwing money around like he has it to burn. And it isn't pretty; this business of unaccounted for money; of promises broken and sleight of hand accounting. First, Arsenal Tech lost the dome covered NFL football practice field Miles promised the east side when he first pitched the Super Bowl. He wanted that extra money for his Super Bowl Village; and he found millions there. And Ballard is lying through his teeth if he tries to make us believe this $12.5 million dollar Georgia street project is all federal transportation funds. I don't believe it. It simply isn't true. And that isn't an appropriate use for federal transportation funds anyway. Sound systems. Fire pits. Ballard and Miles are reaching into every pocket to try to pump the budget for Super Bowl Village. Follow that money trail, if you can. It doesn't cost $12.5 million for outdoor lighting, some heating stations, and a sound system. This Super Bowl; this is all they care about now. Libraries can close. But the CIB, the convention center and the Super Bowl, particularly the Super Bowl Village, are paramount. Ballard really wants to spend some money here. And budgets are tight. So he's squeezing the slush. And what Ballard wants more than anything is that money from the sale of the water company. Wasn't he pushing yesterday for $140 million more from a bond deal he's trying to push through; advancing money to Ballard to spend now, on "public works", that rate payers will be paying back for 20 years. So we've got the Department of Public Works, right in the middle of it all, aren't they. Hundreds of millions at issue now, what with the water and Super Bowl deals. I don't trust any of it.

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