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The Journal Gazette

Monday, September 16, 2019 5:00 pm

Edsall Avenue bridge reopens after 4 years

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

After four years, the Edsall Avenue bridge reopened Monday. 

The bridge was closed by the Allen County Highway Department in 2015. When the city of Fort Wayne took over bridge maintenance within the city limits, the Edsall Avenue bridge became a top priority. The city has completed three bridge reconstructions since 2017 and the Edsall Avenue bridge is one of the first tracked from design to completion. 

"The closure created a challenge for our school family and students. We have many students that used the bridge to get to school from neighborhoods north of the railroad tracks," Allison Holland, principal of Adams Elementary, said in a statement. "The new bridge makes getting to and from school easier and we appreciate the safety features of a barrier protecting walkers from cars and trucks."

The camber-shaped concrete bridge design came from Butler Fairman & Seufert and was built by bridge specialists ICC. Before the bridge closed, nearly 2,000 vehicles crossed the bridge every day. 

"Opening the bridge certainly makes travel easier, but it also improves safety for our neighborhood. The protected sidewalk makes it safer for students and the bridge over the railroad tracks gives the neighborhood peace-of-mind that emergency vehicles now have a more direct route to our homes," Ruby Bates, president of the Eastside Neighborhood said in a statement. "We're thrilled to have the bridge open again."

Nearly 1,700 residents, 101 businesses and 10 churches are located within half a mile of the Edsall Avenue bridge. 

"Investing in bridges is a top priority as we make necessary improvements to our transportation network," Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement. "Preserving and maintaining our bridges demonstrates our ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of the public. Making infrastructure enhancements positions our community for current and future growth and success."