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  • Ruby Bates, Eastside Community Neighborhood president, helps Adams Elementary School fourth graders Janelle Diaz Santamaria, left, and Taleya Robinson cut the ribbon Monday afternoon at the reopening ceremony for the Edsall Avenue bridge. (Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 1:00 am

Edsall bridge reopens

After 4 years, area 'thrilled' as work ends

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

After four years and a reconstruction, the Edsall Avenue bridge reopened Monday. 

The Allen County Highway Department closed the bridge, which had nearly 2,000 vehicles crossing it daily, in 2015.

When the city of Fort Wayne took over bridge maintenance within city limits, the Edsall Avenue bridge became a top priority.

The city has completed three bridge reconstructions since 2017, and the one at Edsall Avenue is one of the first tracked from design to completion. 

“The closure created a challenge for our school family and students,” Adams Elementary Principal Allison Holland said in a statement. “We have many students that used the bridge to get to school from neighborhoods north of the railroad tracks. 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.

Ruby Bates, president of the Eastside Community Neighborhood Association, also praised the reopened span.

“Opening the bridge certainly makes travel easier, but it also improves safety for our neighborhood,” she said in a statement. “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. We're thrilled to have the bridge open again.”

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

Mayor Tom Henry said investing in bridges is “a top priority.” 

“Preserving and maintaining our bridges demonstrates our ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of the public,” he said in a statement. “Making infrastructure enhancements positions our community for current and future growth and success.”