Rehabilitation of the bridge over the Eel River on Third Street in Logansport is on schedule, but the resulting traffic changes have led some to hope construction wraps up a little sooner.
Work on the $2.3-million project has been going on for about a month now. The rehabilitation will result in a new deck, sidewalls, railings, sidewalks and light poles.
Matt Deitchley, media relations director for the Indiana Department of Transportation — Northwest District, said crews are currently working on the supports of the bridge and estimates the project is about 10 percent complete.
“The project is on schedule and moving right along, but there is still plenty of work to do,” Deitchley said.
The bridge’s arches will remain due to successful efforts by local historic preservationists who lobbied their design holds historical significance. It was built in 1918 and designed by Daniel B. Luten using his signature Luten arch, which could be cast without needing scaffolding or support material.
Traveling north, the official detour for the bridge is Ind. 25 North to Ind. 16 West and then west on Ind. 16 to Ind. 17.
After construction started, the city started receiving complaints that large trucks coming in from the north weren’t adhering to the detour but coming up to the bridge and turning onto Linden Avenue, a narrow residential street that isn’t built to support the weight of heavy trucks.
Logansport Superintendent of Public Works Dan Williams contacted INDOT regarding the complaints and INDOT responded by increasing signage of the detour farther out on Ind. 17. Since then, Williams said complaints have dropped to about one a week.
Logansport Police Chief Mike Clark said increased police presence in the area helped stem the problem as well. He added perhaps truck drivers guided by GPS systems unaware of the detour are becoming more familiar with the new official route.