THIS JUST IN: Rebuilt Delaware Street to host two IndyGo ‘Super Stops’

A project to place two IndyGo “Super Stops” along North Delaware Street – immediately north of the southern end of Mass Ave, and immediately north of North Street – will begin construction early next year, nearly four years after first being unveiled.

The project isn’t a response to immediate need, reduced by the pandemic’s affect on Downtown office workers. Instead, the Super Stop project is being brought forward now because of the city’s plan for a complete reconstruction of Delaware between Maryland and Vermont streets.

The Super Stop plan not part of the Red Line rapid transit program. Rather, it features updated bus stops along busy routes to offer a raised platform to speed on- and off-loading of multiple buses as well as shelter, ticketing machines, real-time information screens and security cameras. With 11 regular bus routes traversing North Delaware Street, that corridor is ripe for the Super Stop idea, IndyGo officials said.

The project will also redesign the right-hand travel lane into a “bus-and-turn” lane much like those of the Red Line. The lane will be painted solid red and reserved for buses, except for the final 50 feet before intersections, when the paint becomes dashes indicating that regular vehicles can use the lane for right turns.

According to Indy Go’s original plan, Super Stops will eventually be located at Alabama and New York streets, Alabama and North streets, and Fort Wayne Avenue between Sahm and 9th streets. But those plans are contingent on available funding from an IndyGo budget stressed by the pandemic’s reduced numbers.

The current plan will also affect Fort Wayne Avenue – to become a two-way street to help facilitate bus traffic flow. The stretch from Alabama to Delaware still be part of the current project, while the block from Delaware to Pennsylvania Street will also become two-way next in a separate project.

The stops are located where the future Purple Line Rapid Transit will converge in and out of Downtown. The Super Stops could also result in bus-only or bus-and-turn lanes for reliability and traffic flow. Because the Super Stops are located in neighborhoods governed by the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, that panel’s approval was obtained in April 2017.

Other elements of the project as reported in a Dec. 7 video conference with IndyGo and DPW officials:

  • The reconstruction of Delaware Street between Maryland and Vermont streets will be a total rebuild, including removal of streetcar rails which were simply buried under pavement and have now poked through in several spots. From Vermont Street to Fort Wayne Avenue, the project will be limited to a 3½-inch resurfacing.
  • The Delaware Street traffic signal mid-block at the Transit Center will be eliminated. In that stretch, there will be two red-painted bus-only lanes to allow for both local routes and Red Line buses.
  • Construction will be done in two phases beginning with the eastern lanes. There will be no parking on Delaware Street during construction, and pedestrian traffic will be diverted in those areas where sidewalk reconstruction is needed. When the project is complete, the parking spaces will return, minus those absorbed by the expanded Super Stops. The impact at the Mass Ave site, however, is mitigated by the existing former Blue Indy spaces, which will be removed for the Super Stop.
  • After construction, Delaware Street will feature three traffic lanes, with the previous parking lanes intact and the bus-only lane on the right.
  • Once the Super Stops are operational, the bus stop at Delaware and Market will be closed.
  • New crosswalks will be created across Fort Wayne Avenue to help with pedestrian safety.
  • The project is scheduled to be substantially complete by the end of October 2021, while total completion is expected by Dec. 31.

ARTWORK ABOVE: The proposed Super Stop at Delaware Street and Mass Ave as it was illustrated in 2017. The SuperStop platform is raised by nine inches above the curb to help with boarding (although that is not as high as the Red Line stations designed to be flush with bus openings). There is room on the sidewalk behind the raised station for pedestrians to pass by.