After more than two years, an Indianapolis bridge in a high-traffic area is slated to open in July. The historic 1901 Central Avenue Bridge over Fall Creek underwent a complete restoration.
Dan Parker, Indianapolis Department of Public Works director, says the work was done with as many of the original sandstone pieces as possible.
“It’s more like building a lego bridge, you have to go piece by piece in order, and the 800 new stones that we had to put into the structure had to be specially ordered from Ohio,” Parker says.
The state historic preservation officer had to approve each piece that went in, and the sandstone couldn’t be placed during the winter months.
Before it was closed, an estimated 25,000 vehicles crossed the bridge daily. Lanes south of the bridge, previously one way, have been converted to two-way to allow for northbound traffic.
“I think when folks walk over it, they’ll see a beautifully restored historic bridge,” Parker says. “I know people have been frustrated, but it’s going to be something folks are going to be proud of when it opens.”
The $5.5 million restoration was paid for with federal funding.