By Sophie Pappas
Update as of April 23, 2014: The project will go out to bid in May and start at a later date.
The trees have been cut, and the signs torn down. Measurements have been taken, and plans have been drawn.
The new Ford Road Bridge is coming soon.
And according to Boone County Councilman, Gene Thompson, construction on the new bridge will begin in May. He said it should be completed by Dec. 1 of this year.
For Zionsville residents who have driven by the Ford Road Bridge recently, there may be some shock over how deconstructed the area now is. It is estimated that more than 30 mature trees were cut down.
“That might have caught the attention of some [people],” Thompson said during the April 7 Zionsville Town Council meeting, when he spoke before the council.
Thompson declared at the council meeting that $1.75 million of Boone County taxpayer dollars will be used to build the new, elevated concrete bridge. This comes after the town lost more than $2.58 million in federal funding, when plans for a steel truss bridge were stopped.
The project that Thompson is steering includes plans for a larger bridge than the antiqued steel truss, and one that will be two lanes wide with the ability to hold semi-truck trailers in both lanes.
96th Street will also see considerable construction, as the road will be straightened out to allow for the new bridge.
Thompson’s proposal to use taxpayer dollars instead of the previous grant money has some Zionsville residents fuming. Furthermore, residents in the Traders Point Rural Historic District claim that the concrete bridge is in direct violation of National Park Service’s declaration of a historical preservation area.
“We all want a safe bridge, one which does not negatively impact the Traders Point Rural Historic District, and one which is completed in the near future,” said Cindy Lamberjack, a member of the nonprofit group the Leaders of Greater Historic Traders Point, in a letter to Current in Zionsville.