HAMMOND — City leaders are excited about a new pedestrian bridge connecting the Erie-Lackawanna Trail over Calumet Avenue and Conkey Street.
The five-span, 600-foot-long multi-use bridge cost $3.3 million, with $2 million of it coming from the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.
"The bridge connecting the Erie-Lackawanna Trail through Hammond greatly improves the crossing at highly traveled U.S. 41/Calumet Avenue," city officials said in a news release.
“I’m thrilled at the look, style and impact this bridge has on our Hammond trail network,” Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said. “The team of designer, engineers and contractors did an outstanding job getting this project completed. They delivered.”
The new bridge is the fifth pedestrian roadway overpass — and the seventh multi-use trail structure — completed by the city since 2011.
The city now has over 22.5 miles of dedicated multi-use trails including the Marquette Greenway, Erie-Lackawanna, Wolf Lake, Monon and Little Calumet River trails.
City Engineer Dean Button said it's rare for a project of this magnitude to be completed so smoothly.
"There were an astoundingly low number of conflicts and change orders on this project, and I credit that to the design team, project engineer and the contractor for their continued cooperation throughout the entire project. Our partners at INDOT and NIRPC are invited to celebrate with us and our community in opening our new bridge," he said.
McDermott commended the participants in the project for completing it on time and on budget.
“Quality of life is as important to me as I feel it is for our residents, which is why Hammond seeks to lead the region in trail and park improvements,” McDermott said. “Hammond continues with significant upgrades to Hessville and Martin Luther King parks. We get to leave this legacy of active recreation to our children and, for that, I am ecstatic.”