IndyGo Purple Line Bus Transit Project, Indianapolis, Indiana


  • Historic Properties Field Assistance and Report Preparation
  • Assessment of Effects Report
  • Phase Ia Archaeological Survey
  • Phase III Data Recovery Plan
  • Phase III Data Recovery

ASC initially completed as a Phase Ia Archaeological survey and short report for the Purple Line project, which is a rapid transit line planned for Indianapolis by IndyGo, the metropolitan transit agency. The Phase Ia archaeological survey located no archaeological sites within the project area, which extends from downtown to Fort Benjamin Harrison, and recommended that the project be allowed to proceed.

ASC then completed a supplemental Phase Ia Archaeological Survey, which was required due to changes associated with a new multi-use path, drainage needs, and some additional right-of-way needs. This survey identified Site 12Ma1042, also called the Interurban Group Site. The site consists of three structural elements: an interurban station foundation, an interurban bridge foundation, and portions of the interurban rail bed associated with the other two features. The station foundation is located at the entrance to the St. Andrews Neighborhood, formed by three subdivisions dating from ca. 1910. The context created by the close proximity of the three structural features at the entrance of the neighborhood offer insight into the construction of the interurban infrastructure and provide a tableau for research into the growth of suburban Indianapolis, growth that was encouraged through the interurban rail system. Therefore, it was determined that the Interurban Group Site possesses those qualities of integrity and significance as defined by the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) criteria for evaluation. The site is also eligible for listing on the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures (IRHSS). An assessment of effects report documented how the proposed project would impact historic resources along the proposed Purple Line route.

ASC wrote a data recovery plan, which provided research questions and a field investigation strategy for recovering significant archaeological data about the site prior to its demolition. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (IDNR-DHPA) reviewed and approved this plan. ASC has completed Phase III data recovery excavations at the Interurban Group Site. The archaeological investigation mitigated the adverse impacts the Purple Line project will have on the site. During the Phase III mitigation fieldwork, a combination of hand-excavation, mechanically-assisted trenching and 3D modeling of features was undertaken to document the site. The 3D modeling utilized a combination of drone-assisted and handheld digital photography, and the images were combined utilizing photogrammetry software. The result of the 3D modeling provides for a virtual reconstruction of the interurban station, which assists in visualizing its place in the surrounding neighborhood as it existed ca. 1910. Overall, the Phase III report contributes to the study of the history of Indianapolis, particularly its transportation system.

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