- Associated Press - Friday, September 19, 2014

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - Students trying to cross Coliseum Boulevard on foot where IPFW and Ivy Tech sit across from each other face some peril.

That will change in two years, when most of the construction on an open pedestrian bridge across that busy state road will be finished, according to a spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Transportation, the agency that will oversee the project.

For the moment, students use an extensive Rivergreenway system, a walkway that cuts under Coliseum Boulevard. But when rain or flooding comes, the underground passageway can’t be used, IPFW spokesman John Kaufeld told The Journal Gazette (https://bit.ly/1u6xJIW ).

“This will be a dry bridge,” he said.

The asymmetrical bridge will feature a concrete deck and “some pretty nice lighting,” said Kurt Heidenreich, president of Engineering Resources Inc., the Fort Wayne firm that designed the bridge.

The bridge is estimated to cost about $4.5 million and will take two construction seasons to finish, said Toni Mayo of the Fort Wayne INDOT office. It will be ready for foot traffic at the end of the first construction season in 2016.

About 80 percent of the funding comes from the federal government, and both schools have been asked to contribute. Neither school could supply numbers.

Engineering Resources was also responsible for the design of the Willis Family Bridge over Crescent Boulevard and the Ron Venderly Family Bridge that crosses the St. Joseph River.

The new bridge could eliminate the need for some Ivy Tech students who also take classes at IPFW to drive across the street and park. IPFW has three parking garages that students can use for free.

About 1,000 Ivy Tech students also attend classes at IPFW. Fewer IPFW students would take classes at Ivy Tech, since it is a two-year vocationally based college, Kaufeld said.

But he could foresee some of his campus’s students making the trek across the 3,667-foot bridge for the vaunted Ivy Tech cafeteria.

“It has a very nice student-run cafeteria,” Kaufeld said.


Information from: The Journal Gazette, https://www.journalgazette.net

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