Nora’s 86th St / Keystone Bridge Gateway Beautification Project

What would a nice gateway to Nora look like? With your help, we will work with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful to answer that question.

The Keystone Avenue Bridge at 86th Street, currently under construction, serves as a gateway to the Nora community. However, the bridge, exit ramps, and surrounding land have been neglected for years, collecting trash, invasive plants, and the occasional homeless person camping out in the overgrown wooded areas. With the construction of the Keystone Bridge, we have an opportunity to give this area a facelift.

Project Background
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful was contacted a few times in the past year or two by neighbors in the Nora community asking if they could do anything to help with beautifying the ugly Keystone Bridge at 86th Street interchange. They were exploring the idea, then the bridge construction came up offering some opportunity to get engaged. The Nora Alliance will organize two community meetings in mid-July and August to help Keep Indianapolis Beautiful gather input on design plans for the interchange, with the following objectives:
  • to engage the Nora community in proactive planning with the assistance of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
  • to help address the homeless population that are living in this area from time to time
  • to meet the community wants and needs with a design based on community input
  • to determine what gets put in place in areas that have already been cleared by the construction process
  • to determine how to maintain wildlife / greenspace as desired by the community
  • to determine a tree maintenance plan so newly planted trees are maintained and thrive after construction crew is gone (these do not otherwise have a maintenance plan, and trees often die after the construction phase)
  • to work with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful to help in the planning and design phase, and then in seeking funding to implement the plan

The goal for the July meeting is for a designer to capture what is important to the community at this space so a design can be created. The goal for the August meeting is for the designer to come back with a rough drawing capturing feedback from July and gather final feedback before getting a solid plan to go forth with.

Dates and times for the meetings are still being determined. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns about the project. Stay tuned for more information!

4 replies
  1. Richard W Fitch
    Richard W Fitch says:

    All constructive actions to keep our neighborhoods safe and attractive are important to the city as a whole. I don’t venture far from my own corner, therefore, am not always aware of the changes, good or bad, that are taking place. I do, however, appreciate the various Internet posts which keep me updated with regard to my own CCN, Nora community, and general area.

  2. Mike
    Mike says:

    Too bad there won’t be sidewalks connecting the east and west side of Keystone. Typical poor planning in Indianapolis. I hear people complaining about traffic and not wanting growth. If better planning was done my car and many others wouldn’t be contributing to the congestion and we could enjoy the benefits growth brings to a community. Unfortunately, Keystone divides Nora and limits peoples ability to walk or bike. I live on the east side of keystone and once rode my bike to the mall. Never again, it’s just too dangerous. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate what sidewalks/trails are here and on the way, but I just feel like the ball was dropped on this one. I moved to Nora from Hamilton county 6 years ago and although I love my Nora community, I certainly miss their superior infrastructure and attention to detail.

    • Jill Saligoe-Simmel
      Jill Saligoe-Simmel says:

      Hi Mike, great observations. In many respects we compete with great infrastructure and planning projects to our north. Yet Nora has a special quality that keeps us all here.

      We are keeping close tabs on this underpass and need for connectivity. Many people completely agree that a sidewalk or path is needed. Here is what we know today: sidewalks weren’t part of the current bridge project scope, and thus won’t be a part of the current construction. However, the city is now looking into this as a separate project for a sidewalk on south side of 86th Street. We have talked with folks at the city, emphasizing this as an important missing link in connectivity for our community. There are some developers in the area that are also interested in supporting such a project. Over the coming months we’ll be putting together some community vision / planning events. Please join the effort — we can’t do it alone and would love to have your voice heard.

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