EDITORIAL: Build a bridge and get over it

2012-11-30T00:00:00Z 2012-11-30T09:58:03Z EDITORIAL: Build a bridge and get over it nwitimes.com
November 30, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Superintendent Costa Dillon's vision for a hiking and biking suspension bridge in Portage is worth pursuing.

Dillon wants to help pedestrians and bicyclists get safely across U.S. 12,* Ind. 249 and Burns Ditch.

His prototype is the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge that connects Omaha, Neb., and Council Bluffs, Iowa. That $44 million bridge, which opened in 2008, connects to a network of a trails and parks on both sides of the Missouri River.

"This is a stunning bridge that can become an icon of Northwest Indiana, a symbol of how Northwest Indiana views its lakefront," Dillon said. "What a perfect metaphor of the blending of nature and steel."

The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority has been funding projects to implement the Marquette Plan goal of reclaiming the Lake Michigan shoreline for public use.

The RDA would likely be involved in making the bridge a reality. Dillon has already broached the subject with RDA President Bill Hanna, who seems to support the idea.

"We want to see the next phase be about connectivity," Hanna said. "The lakefront projects are supposed to drive economic and other activity. That's the Marquette Plan's vision."

A.J. Monroe, Portage's director of public works, said for the bridge to span U.S. 12,* Ind. 249 and Burns Ditch, it would have to be three miles long -- five times as long as the Bob Kerry bridge.

That could be a challenge, but not a barrier. After all, we're talking about building a bridge not just as a physical presence but also as a metaphor.

Northwest Indiana must build a bridge, in a sense, to the new era. Here's a chance to do so.

Dillon said the bridge itself could become a tourist attraction. Northwest Indiana is learning how to build attractive bridges, and this project would build on it.

It would be a good focal point for the Marquette Plan, a draw for visitors, and would connect hiking and biking trails severed by highways and a major waterway.

It's too soon to give up. Keep working on this project. 

* This editorial has been changed from the original to correctly reflect the roads over which the bridge would go.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses

Submit a Letter to Editor

We welcome letters from readers on any issue of public interest, and make every effort to publish as many as we can and in a timely manner. The Times will publish only one letter a month from a writer, and be sure to include your name, address and a telephone number for verification. Letters should be 150 words or less. They will be edited.

Letters may be submitted:
  • Via our submission form.
  • Via e-mail.
  • Via fax: (219) 933-3249 or (219) 465-7298
  • Via mail or by hand to our offices:
    • 601 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321
    • 2080 N. Main St., Crown Point, IN 46307
    • 1111 Glendale Blvd., Valparaiso, IN 46383
    • 3410 Delta Dr., Portage, IN 46368
    • Please mark envelopes with "Attn: Letters"

Questions?

Email Editorial Page Editor Doug Ross or call (219) 548-4360 or (219) 933-3357

Poll

Loading…

Who do you support for Lake County assessor?

View Results