Fixing a crumbling canal walk

November 19, 2007
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Canal ProjectThe oldest portion of the downtown canal walk could soon get a $3.2-million upgrade. The city is finalizing plans for new pavement, stairs, retaining walls, lighting and railings along the canal between Ohio and West streets. The Metropolitan Development Commission is scheduled Wednesday to approve a bid from Smock Fansler Corporation to replace the crumbling pavers and stairs, along with a new elevator and water feature at Ohio Street and the canal (click for a larger rendering). Many of the limestone pavers will be replaced with granite. The project will take about eight months to complete and could begin in the next few months.
  • I didn't even know this was up for bid. $3.2M?!

    Still, this is good news. Some sort of repair had to be done. They did a half-assed repair job on the stairs in this area a year or so ago and it looks terrible.
  • i think this is great. the canal is by far one of our greatest amenities in the city. i hope improvements like this keep coming! is the water feature completely new or is it a rehab/redo of an existing one?
  • Gloriana Frangipana 'ere to her be true
    She's the pride of Indiana, AND WE BEAT PURDUE!!!

    Sorry not real estate related, but with the Bucket being property of the Hoosiers, I didn't think a proud IU alum like Mr. Schouten would mind a little bragging diversion.

    Oh, and I'm glad the city is improving the walk. Long overdue...
  • Thank heavens! This area has really fallen apart recently, and this is exactly what it needs. I rode my bike around the canal many times this summer, and this is going to make a great renovation/addition. Any word on the waterfall feature that always gets horribly dirty and splashes out to the railing, which is now a corroded mess?

    At least we're going to appreciate this. If this were posted on the Star, people would complain this this money should go to lower property taxes!
  • Property taxes and crime are skyrocketing and they are wasting our money on this?!!?!
  • Spoke too soon, Nick.
  • *sigh*

    Ignorance is bliss...
  • Much needed improvement here. Hope they get going on this soon so it's ready by the end of next summer.
  • This is indeed good news. As a frequent canal walker, I have long deplored the crumbling steps and pavement.....was wondering if the city could get a refund from the original contractor or at least put in some quality controls on the new project-- it seems to me that the original work was somewhat shoddy and should have lasted a bit longer, imho.....but this is good news.....

    by the way, your blog is excellent; it really has become the go to site for indy development news.
  • Amen, to what Joe says. Love the blog too, and it is
  • Great effort on behalf of the city to upgrade an area that gets much attention. Many people outside of the area see this site and in it's present condition, it doesn't represent the city's efforts well. I hope the city looks at the sidewalks and barriers around Pan Am Plaza. That area may be even worse.

    Cory S. - Certainly, we are all able to speak our minds about many issues. This is a great forum and you present it in positive, professional manner. If only all of the responders would do the same. As for me, I'm growing very weary of the Dustin's who seem to drag this site down to a level of disgust. Perhaps we could all call a truce and agree to submit comments that reflect our opinions as to the issues at hand and not toward others (unless done so in a positive and professional manner). Thanks for all you do! You have my pledge in this regard.
  • Not to digress, but how about a forum for prospective future topics?

    For example, a discussion on the wild, wild west that is currently the stadium area? I had an interesting lunch discussion today with someone in the CCB who told me some potential horror stories in the making. It would be a great start for the new mayor to create some form of planning district to help guide the growth and development of this area before some really bad things happen. Maybe the stadium building authority could have oversight (although it should NOT become a political stumbling block).

    The state and the city really need to focus on this area and what it will look like in 20-30 years, and how future downtown growth will be benefitted, or be crippled, by the emerging development patterns.
  • I'm all for this addition but $3.2 million seems a little pricey for an elevator, ramp and waterfall.
  • Is Granite really necessary? Are we trying to one up Mayor Brainard and Carmel?
  • Thank you, all, for the kind words!
  • Aw I'm glad to know that some of you are so weak minded and lousy to realize that there are more pressing issues to get all hyped up about. Sure, some of my comments were distasteful, but in real life, do you actually uphold yourselves as goody two shoe religious simple minded people? I find it incredibly hilarious how some of you are easily offended over something so trivial. Get over it.
  • Had the canal project been designed and installed right in the beginning the $3.2 million would not have been needed today.
  • Not to be selfish about my, and my inner city neighbors needs over this sort
    of project, that will no doubt impress throngs of visitors to our city and
    canal walkers, but there is a sharp contrast to the opulence of this project
    in comparison to many, many inner city streets and sidewalks that are crumbling
    and in desperate need of repair. Every summer, 3-foot tall weeds grow through
    the middle of the street in front of my home (or would if no one pulled them).
    The city needs to spend some cash taking care of necessities like streets and
    sidewalks instead (or in addition to) a project like this.
  • Amen Matthew! Amen!
  • Yeah, and Bart lied, too. (Yawn) Whining is really tiresome.

    Here's the thing: when you have company coming for dinner, do you vacuum under the beds, clean out your closets, and change all the bed linens?

    No. You focus on what visitors will see. City maintenance isn't a whole lot different.

    Why don't you pull the weeds yourself next spring. Or spray 'em. I'll do the same on my street, and maybe the rest of the bloggers will too. It will cost us all a whole lot less than hiring DPW employees, supervisors, and trucks to do it for us.
  • What about our crumbling streets and sidewalks? Some that haven't had any maintenance done in DECADES? What do you want me to do, head on over to Home Depot and buy some concrete and repave the streets myself? Give me a break.
  • The original contractors should be tracked down and hung by their toes! How long ago was all that stuff put in? That project was a total rip and somebody should be held accountable for it. Limestone shouldn't have been the material of choice, but one would think it would've lasted longer than it did. It was probably a cheap concrete mix and not really limestone.
  • What about our crumbling neighborhoods?

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  1. You are correct that Obamacare requires health insurance policies to include richer benefits and protects patients who get sick. That's what I was getting at when I wrote above, "That’s because Obamacare required insurers to take all customers, regardless of their health status, and also established a floor on how skimpy the benefits paid for by health plans could be." I think it's vital to know exactly how much the essential health benefits are costing over previous policies. Unless we know the cost of the law, we can't do a cost-benefit analysis. Taxes were raised in order to offset a 31% rise in health insurance premiums, an increase that paid for richer benefits. Are those richer benefits worth that much or not? That's the question we need to answer. This study at least gets us started on doing so.

  2. *5 employees per floor. Either way its ridiculous.

  3. Jim, thanks for always ready my stuff and providing thoughtful comments. I am sure that someone more familiar with research design and methods could take issue with Kowalski's study. I thought it was of considerable value, however, because so far we have been crediting Obamacare for all the gains in coverage and all price increases, neither of which is entirely fair. This is at least a rigorous attempt to sort things out. Maybe a quixotic attempt, but it's one of the first ones I've seen try to do it in a sophisticated way.

  4. In addition to rewriting history, the paper (or at least your summary of it) ignores that Obamacare policies now must provide "essential health benefits". Maybe Mr Wall has always been insured in a group plan but even group plans had holes you could drive a truck through, like the Colts defensive line last night. Individual plans were even worse. So, when you come up with a study that factors that in, let me know, otherwise the numbers are garbage.

  5. You guys are absolutely right: Cummins should build a massive 80-story high rise, and give each employee 5 floors. Or, I suppose they could always rent out the top floors if they wanted, since downtown office space is bursting at the seams (