Bird scooters, bowling ball, wallet among odd items found during canal cleanup

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INDIANAPOLIS – The downtown canal in Indianapolis has been drained so that it can be cleaned of algae and other plant growth, and the process has recovered an odd assortment of items that somehow wound up in the waterway.

The cleaning will be along the entire length of the concrete-lined canal through the west side of downtown. Crews will remove the sediment by using equipment and machinery, and debris will be removed for disposal.

While cleaning the canal, Merrell Bros. Inc found more than just dirt.

"We found about 8 to 10 of the Lime and Bird scooters. Some reason people like to slip them into the canal. I’m not sure why. We’ve removed a bowling ball, we removed like a handicap scooter. All sorts of books, T-shirts, sweatshirts," Merrell explained.

They also found money and a wallet.

"We are notifying the gentleman that we found it and we think we located his sister through Facebook, so we are still tracking him down and hopefully get his wallet back," Merrell said.

Crews were about 30 percent done with the project Thursday.

The canal was last comprehensively cleaned in 2007. The city said it’s recommended the cleaning take place roughly once per decade. This project is estimated to cost $547,320.00 with the city paying for most of the project as a planned expense that coincides with budget allocation for the upkeep of downtown infrastructure and beautification.

Merrell Bros. Inc is about three weeks into the project. Their end goal is to be done in February.

"There are less people on the canal this time of year. The summer time it stays very busy so it’s a good time to do it for the city, but it’s a hard time for us because water freezes and it makes it difficult to pump out as a liquid," said Merrell Bros. Inc. Project Consultant Brayden Merrell.

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