FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – On Wednesay, Mayor Tom Henry joined residents and area business owners, along with the City’s Public Works Division, for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Van Buren Street Bridge Improvement Project.
The $2.5 million project included the super structure replacement of the bridge, scour protection, a trail running from the bridge south to Superior Street, wider sidewalks and decorative railing and lighting. Primco, Inc. was the primary contractor for the work.
The bridge was originally built in 1934 and reconstructed in 1994. The city said it had a load limit of 17 tons, giving it a rating of 5 out of 10. The project was necessary to prevent a full closure of the river crossing due to cracking in the pre-stressed concrete box beams.
“We continue to make important investments in local infrastructure and it’s making a positive difference,” Mayor Henry said. “It’s vital for us to be proactive and innovative as we work to enhance our transportation system for residents and businesses. The work we’re doing positions Fort Wayne as a leader in providing excellent services that will result in an enhanced quality of life and additional business and job opportunities.”
The Public Works Division has an in-house team made up of three to five full and part-time staff to perform the maintenance work necessary to extend the life of the 96 bridges that the city oversees.
“Having an in-house team to maintain bridges is more efficient and faster. We save money, time and resources,” said Shan Gunawardena, Public Works Director. “The Public Works Division is committed to protecting motorists, being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and investing in our infrastructure to extend the life of bridges.”
The Public Works Division monitors bridges monthly. Full inspections take place every two years, but if issues are noted, that particular bridge is inspected every year.