Construction began on the IU Office of Capital Planning’s project to improve the Campus River on Jan. 18, which runs over two miles throughout the IU campus.
The river begins near Hilltop Garden and Nature Center and ends at a large drain on Indiana Avenue.
“The Campus River has got to be one of the largest, most iconic features of the campus,” University Landscape Architect Mia Williams said. “It is both a thing of interest, of beauty and of study.”
Recent increases in rainfall have strained the Campus River by eroding the banks and preventing it from serving its purpose as a natural storm drain, meaning work must be done to preserve the natural body of water, according to a press release from the IU Office of Capital Planning.
“The goal of the project is protecting and preserving the natural feature that serves the campus as both a visual and an interactive amenity, and as well as a natural storm water utility,” the release stated.
The project will focus on the most vulnerable parts of the Campus River first. The first phase of the restoration will cause some sidewalks and foot bridges south of Woodburn Hall to be closed until the end of February, according to the press release.
Next, construction will move east to the area north of the Conrad Prebys Amphitheater and Bryan House and south of the Lilly Library and IU Auditorium. This phase should be completed by the end of April, according to the press release.
The engineering firm V3 Engineering, located in Indianapolis, is responsible for planning the project. Williams Creek — an environmental engineering company based in Plainfield, Indiana — will complete the construction for the project.
Large industrial equipment will be used to clean, replace and restore stone walls that line the river. Debris and invasive plant materials will be removed as part of the restoration and all the areas disturbed by the construction will be replanted, according to the release.
The Campus River was named the Jordan River until 2020 when former IU President Michael Mcrobbie recommended it be renamed.