HOBART | Unlike the bridge to nowhere, the Beverly Lane Bridge is the "bridge to everywhere," City Engineer Pete Kohut said.
"So many people use the bridge to get to Cleveland Avenue or get to the community center," he said.
Kohut was among a number of local and county officials and residents who gathered Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the replacement of the Beverly Lane Bridge in Hobart.
Among those cheering the completion of the bridge, between Beverly Boulevard and Second Street, were residents Harold and Mary Anne Shaw and Deb and Ray Killion.
"It's beautiful. We neighbors only wish it were wider," Harold Shaw said.
Shaw, who lives on Beverly Boulevard, said the original bridge is likely more than 70 years old because it was in place when his family moved into the neighborhood in the early 1940s.
"It was worth the wait," neighbor Deb Killion said.
She said the old bridge over Lake George had become decrepit through years of constant use.
"Now it's nice, since you can kayak under it," Killion said.
The project's cost will be shared by the city and stormwater board, Mayor Brian Snedecor said.
Snedecor thanked U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D- Merrillville, for attending the ceremony even though no federal money was used.
"Without your vision and concerns for other projects in Hobart, we'd not have been able to have freed up local dollars for this project," Snedecor said.
The bridge replacement was designed by Butler, Fairman and Seufert Inc., and work was done by Superior Construction, of Gary.
Superior Construction was awarded the $438,576 contract in early June and work on the bridge began in mid-July.
The work was completed in late September, city officials said.
The bridge span was increased from 11 feet to 20 feet and widened to allow for better access to the far west end of Lake George.
The increased span allows the city to now turn the bridge over to the county for routine maintenance and inspections, city officials said.