EAST CHICAGO | Mayor Anthony Copeland, along with Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, Rep. Ed Soliday, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Northwest District Deputy Commissioner Robert Alderman, and local officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the new Nine Span Bridge over the Indiana Harbor Belt (IHB).
The celebration began with the unveiling of a historic plaque that highlighted the history of the bridge, which initially opened in 1937. The original Nine Span Bridge was reportedly as one of the largest bridges over dry land and had a total of seventeen spans.
After the plaques were revealed, Mayor Anthony Copeland and Mayor Thomas McDermott stood together as a link to express their gratitude for the completion of the new infrastructure. They also spoke briefly about the benefits of the project as well as how it serves as an eminent landmark to the entire region especially the two cities that the bridge unites.
The re-opening of the bridge is extremely important, as it is one of the busiest routes in the area and more than 20,000 vehicles travel across it every day. It was originally set to be completed at a later date, but has opened ahead of schedule to reconnect the flow of traffic between Hammond and East Chicago.
The $18 million contract was awarded to Dunnet Bay Construction of Glendale Heights, Illinios for the project, which included the bridge’s demolition and rebuilding.