By Rod Rose
For the Times Sentinel
---- — A new Ford Road bridge over Eagle Creek in Zionsville could be open as soon as October next year.
Butler Fairman & Seufert Engineers were awarded a $245,000 contract to design the bridge, pending final review of the document by Boone County attorney Bob Clutter. The company was chosen from six engineering firms interviewed by the Boone County Commissioners on Monday, July 1.
Replacement of the current Ford Road bridge, built in 1921, has been proposed since 1995. A plan to replace it with an 80-year-old steel bridge declared surplus by the state highway department was stopped last year, after the Boone County Council on July 11, 2012, pulled funding for the plan. That decision indirectly contributed to the loss of $2.5 million in federal and state matching funds, when the Indiana Department of Transportation declared the project was one of hundreds statewide that had taken too long to begin.
On Jan. 25, the county council voted 4-1 to commit $500,000 to the bridge project, in what proved to be a futile effort to keep the federal funding. That amount would have been 20 percent of the estimated cost, representing the matching funds that the county would have to provide if federal assistance was used for the bridge.
Construction of the $1.865 million new bridge is scheduled to begin on April 21, 2014, with completion in five to six months, BF&S representatives told the commissioners on July 1, according to their minutes. A preliminary design would be ready Sept. 16, a final design submitted by March 3, and the construction contract awarded April 17, 2014.
See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.