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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v15n05)
Everything you always wanted to know about the canal...part nineteen (end of series) - Downtown canal part 4
by Alan Hague
posted: Mar. 02, 2018

Part Nineteen - The Downtown Canal part 4 (last of series)
The Broad Ripple Gazette presented (in various issues from Volume 12 #18 through Volume 13 #9) the history and workings of the Indiana Central Canal as it exists today, from the canal's creation at the dam on the White River in Broad Ripple, down to the Citizens White River Treatment Plant near the Fall Creek and 16th Street.
This article is the fourth part that covers the portion of the canal that was past the water treatment plant. It currently runs from 11th Street, through downtown and White River State Park, "spilling over" into the White River near the southwest corner of the NCAA Hall of Champions.
From part 3 to start this installment:
Phase three took the canal north past Michigan Street. The pedestrian bridge was at Vermont Street was built. A basin wide enough to turn a watercraft around was constructed between the pedestrian bridge and New York Street.
Phase four of the project was completed in 2001. It included the three blocks from St. Clair Street north to 11th Street. This phase cost $10,000,000.
The portion of the canal that runs from the West Street bridge to the south west to the White River was built by the State of Indiana, not the City of Indianapolis. The two canal projects connect at West Street. The state completed the section that runs where the original canal bed was on the south side of Military Park and turned south to about Washington Street, then west again to the White River. This part of the canal is in White River State Park and is maintained as part of the park. The final, western-most section becomes shallow and grows narrower and narrower as it approaches a waterfall back to the White River (see left).
Large schools of goldfish can be seen in the canal. The fish were not stocked by the City, but added to the canal over the years from residents. There is a large population near the warm water inlet under the Ohio Street bridge. Bass have also been seen in the canal. The fish are safe because the Canal Walk water is not treated with chlorine or other hazardous chemicals. The water is tinted blue to slow the growth of algae. It is also under the watch of an aquatic control company.

A large school of goldfish under the Ohio Street bridge, near the warm water inlet.
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The DMD has a crew that tends to the Canal nearly every day, "mowing, mulching, watering plants, taking out dead plants," and repairing damage from vandalism. The maintenance costs around $400,000 per year. Around 2007 the Canal Walk was drained and cleaned at a cost of about $500,000. Each year the canal becomes several colors, coinciding with a celebration or a proclamation ceremony. It has been green, red, yellow, and of course, Colts blue.

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Large bubbles pop near the outlet of the water supply from the One America building.
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At the far west end of the canal the width narrows as water spills into the White River.
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alan@broadripplegazette.com
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