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City unveils updated plan for Henry Street bridge project

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works announced an updated archaeology plan for construction of the Henry Street bridge, which overlaps with a portion of the former Greenlawn Cemetery.

Updated rendering of Henry Street bridge project

The community helped select the design of the Henry Street bridge, also referred to as Circle City Gateway.

Rendering via The City of Indianapolis

Last year, we told you about a bridge project that would expand the Indianapolis Cultural Trail west across the White River + connect downtown to Elanco’s new headquarters and Eleven Park.

This week, the City of Indianapolis provided an update on the project plan for the Henry Street bridge, discussed the latest historical research on Greenlawn Cemetery, and allowed residents to engage with members of the project team.

The city found that the construction of the Henry Street bridge between Washington and Oliver streets will overlap with two of the four cemetery sites know as Greenlawn Cemetery — which is recognized as the city’s first cemetery. Because of this, the city said it will approach the site through a true archaeological process to meet the community’s expectation of its historical significance.

The project will take up ~1.5 acres of the 20+ acre site, but the city estimates that 650+ graves could be unearthed during construction.

A presentation of the project update stated that the updated approach will “both address the erasure of the city’s past and will change the city’s skyline.”

INDY_Henry Street bridge rendering update_Cultural Trail_JUNE2024

The Cultural Trail addition as part of this project will be the second expansion of the trail in its 10-year history.

Rendering via The City of Indianapolis

The White River Innovation District will be completed in phases, with work currently underway on the west side of the river.

  • Phase 1 is currently under construction with the infrastructure to support the Elanco campus on the west side of the river.
  • Phase 2 will be the Henry Street bridge.
  • Phase 3 will be the Henry Street connector, which includes building the roadway that connects from the bridge to Kentucky Avenue.

The final design of the Henry Street bridge features four rings centered on the bridge, with 60% of it dedicated to pedestrian use (via the Cultural Trail) and 40% for vehicular traffic.
Archaeological work will begin in late 2024 + construction of the bridge will start this year and complete in fall 2026.

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