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Lawmaker calls on full audit of streets and sewer pipes in Indianapolis following two road issues

Posted at 10:00 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 22:35:42-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indiana lawmaker is requesting a full audit on streets and sewer pipes in Indianapolis after issues with collapses at two intersections in downtown Indianapolis in a two-week period.

“It is painfully obvious to every single resident of Marion County that our infrastructure is failing,” Sen. Jim Merritt said in a release issued last week. “Our bridges are in shambles, our roads are falling apart left and right, and as of today there are still 2,818 potholes that have yet to be filled.”

READ | Downtown intersection opens ahead of schedule

The call came days after a manhole collapsed underground at Illinois and Maryland streets less a week after a large hole opened up at Ohio and Pennsylvania streets.

Citizen’s Energy discovered the issue at Maryland and Illinois while doing a routine cleaning and inspection. The issue there was able to be repaired before it collapsed the street above, but crews say the damage was enough that it could have happened at any time.

“Illinois and Maryland was a failure of the manhole structure itself,” said Roger Hanas, System Renewal for Waste Water Collections Manager. “The top of the pipe was essentially falling in.”

It’s an issue the city and lawmakers want to make sure doesn’t continue. With two issues in two weeks, Hanas says they are stepping up their inspections.

READ | Large sinkhole opens in downtown Indy

"A little bit of bad luck to be,” said Hanas. “1800s construction and for two of them to have failed and the spots they did within a few weeks of each other, the impact in downtown traffic was probably about like winning the lottery and getting struck by lightning.”

He says so far out of 500 inspections, they haven’t found any major issues but they have identified three locations that need to be addressed within the next 30 days.

"The taxpayers of Marion County deserve to know why their infrastructure continues to be inadequate. Indianapolis strives to be a world class city, capable of attracting some of the biggest events and companies in the world,” said Sen. Merritt. ”How can we possibly continue to do that when we can’t even get to work without damaging our cars or sitting in traffic caused by road closures? I am calling for a full audit of our infrastructure and the findings need to be made public. I believe taxpayers have a right to know why this is happening."

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