On October 7th Eli Lilly and Company in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) will landscape and enhance the interchanges that form the western gateway to urban Indianapolis. They are:
Sam Jones Expressway, Harding Street, West Street, Illinois Street/Capitol Avenue and Meridian Street. To see maps of the project, click here.
Two communities will see their I-70 entrances made more welcoming. They are:
West Indianapolis Development Corporation and the Concord Community Development Corporation.
Led by KIB and INDOT, a team of urban planners and landscape architects have re-designed the I-70 corridor to integrate native grasses, flowering plants, and trees. Site-specific sculptures have been commissioned. Public meetings and open comment periods gave neighbors and business owners a voice in the planning.
It’s another chapter in the Indianapolis story that brings together private companies, community leaders, multiple government agencies, and a lot of good people ready to put on their work gloves.
Now, the project called “A Greener Welcome” is about to begin.
The benefits of a project this massive can be measured in environmental, economic, and cultural terms. They begin to accumulate even before the shovels are packed up, and will extend across generations.
The open spaces within highway interchanges are modern day no-mans-lands–jumbles of grass and weeds that look the about the same in every city. But what if we envisioned something better for these spaces?
What if we re-created them as living green spaces, and gave them something important to say, like “Welcome to Indianapolis” or even “Welcome Home”.
West Indianapolis is working to build the “sense of place” that’s vital for building community. We’ve already made great strides through our ongoing programs that are adding trees, landscaping and signage. A Greener Welcome takes that idea to a whole new level, and we’re thrilled to be participating.
We’ve seen the good things that can happen when we enhance the corridors of our community. The 2008 Lilly Day of Service created a spectacular set of murals and a much improved Madison Avenue. Then we worked to re-develop two adjacent structures that have since been acquired by businesses that have increased our tax base and added local jobs. We’re ready for the next chapter. This project is great for Concord.
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