The newly refurbished former Newbern Bridge has been positioned over Haw Creek, just south of the 25th Street Bridge in Columbus.
Now featuring a bright-red color, the 107-year-old structure will become part of a new Columbus People Trail extension that’s expected to open by mid-October.
After the once-dilapidated bridge from Clifty Township was completely disassembled, each piece was transported to a specialty metal shop in northern Indiana, where new parts were substituted for pieces that could not be salvaged, said project consultant D. Eric Brunn, who works for the Columbus-based engineering consulting firm Strand Associates.
The bridge was moved into position Wednesday.
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Temporary connections and other devices that include rubber pads will be used to hold the bridge in place until the crossing is permanently secured onto the foundation, Bartholomew County Highway Engineer Danny Hollander said.
1910: Original bridge constructed over Clifty Creek along County Road 850N on the northwest side of Newbern. Originally built for trains, the bridge was later modified for vehicular traffic.
1982: Bridge reconstructed.
1999: Bartholomew County Commissioners vote to replace the aging bridge and $960,000 in federal funding is acquired for the project.
2001: Archaeologists uncover more than 350 artifacts under Clifty Creek at the site. Replacement is delayed.
2003: Despite concerns over deterioration, the 12-ton weight limit for the Newbern Bridge is maintained.
2004: Indiana first lady Nancy Kernan announces Bartholomew County will receive a $584,000 state grant to refurbish the existing Newbern bridge once it is replaced.
2005: Amount set aside for construction of a new Newbern Bridge rises to $1.25 million.
2010: Proposal emerges that the old bridge could be used as part of the Columbus People Trails, spanning Haw Creek south of 25th Street.
2014: A determination is made to close the 104-year-old bridge the first full week of November.
2015: Historic Newbern Bridge taken apart, transported on flatbed trucks to Lincoln Park in Columbus, where it will be stored prior to restoration.
2016: County approves funds needed to restore the bridge for its use as a pedestrian path.
2017: By mid-October, the 106-year-old structure will become part of a new Columbus People Trail extension.