FORT WAYNE, Ind, (WANE) – Four years after a groundbreaking, the pedestrian bridge linking Purdue Fort Wayne and Ivy Tech has opened. Students and staff walked across the structure Tuesday, a day ahead an official opening celebration.
Work began on the Parker-Cole Crossing bridge in April, 2017. The opening had been delayed after the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) decided more stability testing was needed before it could be deemed safe for pedestrians. A pier was added to the structure and welds were retrofitted before it was opened.
Work on the bridge forced closures of Coliseum Boulevard on multiple occasions. On Tuesday, it appeared only landscaping near the ramps leading to the bridge was left to be done.
“When I think about the bridge, I think about the whole campus, the whole comprehensive plan and it’s a huge element,” Joe Ohlinger from Purdue Fort Wayne’s School of Education told WANE 15 while crossing the bridge. “I’m so happy it’s open. I think it’s beautiful. It’s iconic.”
“I enjoy being able to see different parts of this area,” Joel Givens added. “It’s nice. It opens it up more. More access to different parts of the campus.”
An official bridge opening ceremony has been planned for Wednesday as Mac and Pat Parker, the bridge’s namesakes, cross it. Ornamental lighting will also be officially turned on Wednesday at dusk.