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The Scoop

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Verbatim: MLK bridge replacement gets green light

Statement issued Monday:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Fort Wayne District has an official notice to proceed with construction on the US 27/Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge over the St. Mary’s River.

Beginning Monday, July 26, NIPSCO plans to complete its utility relocation and lift the closure of the left lane of Clinton Street and also reopen 4th Street in front of Lawton Park. Signs for the bridge construction will be in place beginning July 28.

On July 29, INDOT will close the right lane from just south of Elizabeth Street to the south side of the bridge. This will also include the closure of 4th Street, west of Clinton Street. A detour for 4th Street will be marked.

While INDOT’s portion of the bridge project centers on functionality, the City of Fort Wayne is funding a portion of the project to make the structure a signature gateway. While the bridge is rarely referred to as the MLK Jr. Bridge, the memorials to Martin Luther King Jr. will remind the public of the bridge’s actual name.

The $7.5 million project replaces the bridge and adds features to the gateway into Fort Wayne’s downtown, including a new pedestrian trail on both sides to connect Headwaters Park to Lawton Park, an arched steel truss-style façade, ornamental lighting plus prominent memorials to Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. The project is expected to be complete in 2011.

While INDOT’s portion of the bridge project centers on functionality, the City of Fort Wayne is funding a portion of the project to make the structure a signature gateway. The memorials to Martin Luther King Jr. will remind the public of the bridge’s actual name, the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge.

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