The White River Rock Ramp

After much planning and community collaboration, Citizens Energy Group recently celebrated the completion of the White River Rock Ramp adjacent to Riverside Park.

Located about 500 feet south of the Riverside Park Boat Ramp, the rock ramp has restored a pool necessary to operate Citizens’ White River water intake located just north of 30th Street. The intake is designed to provide water supply to the nearby Central Canal, which is the main source of supply to the White River Treatment Plant. The intake will be used primarily during periods of drought or Central Canal flow disruption.

The rock ramp is constructed out of approximately 380 large stones, each roughly the size of an armchair and weighing around five tons. The stones are arranged in a stair-step pattern, allowing the White River to cascade downstream while maintaining migration of fish up and down the new rock ramp. To create the newly sloped streambed, 1,400 truckloads delivered 43,000 tons of stone. Construction of the rock ramp was completed in only four months and came in under budget.

The rock ramp is a testament to Citizens’ ongoing commitment to ensuring both the water supply for the Central Indiana area and the quality of life for residents. In addition, the rock ramp, combined with our ongoing DigIndy Tunnel System project, which is preventing sewer overflows, will contribute to a healthy and diverse fish population in the river. It also has restored about half of Riverside Park’s Lake Indy, a popular recreational amenity for the community for more than 100 years.

Throughout the design and construction of the project, Citizens was fortunate to have enthusiastic and engaged collaborators in the Riverside neighborhood, as well as at the City of Indianapolis and Indy Parks. Citizens gathered with those stakeholders last month to celebrate the completion of the rock ramp and its benefits to the community.

It’s important to note that river users should not try to navigate the rock ramp. Signage upstream of and just prior to the structure advises canoers and kayakers to exit the river to safely walk their watercraft around the structure via a portage. In addition, people should not wade out into the rock ramp for fishing or other activities.