BRIDGE RESTORATION PROCESS – START TO FINISH
After a tedious restoration process (two and a half years in the making) — The City of Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) Central Avenue Bridge has been restored to its original natural beauty! Residents and commuters in the area were excited for the much-anticipated opening. On his 73rd birthday, Joe Battista who is a long-time neighborhood resident was the first to drive across the newly opened bridge with his arms wide spread as he exclaimed, “This is my bridge!”
The original structure was built between 1897 to 1901. In order to maintain the bridge’s historic integrity, it was disassembled block by block and the sandstone pieces for the spandrel walls and railing were saved, cleaned, and re-set in the new structure. Unassembled, the bridge revealed a total of over 2,000 blocks, varying in size and weight from 60 pounds to three and a half tons. For the blocks of stone that had surrendered to the test of time, replacement stones were special ordered from a quarry in Ohio, each one approved to match its original counterpart.
When the project first began, the structure served as a one-way south facility carrying an ADT (Average Daily Traffic) of 25,0000 vehicles. The newly restored structure was built to accommodate two-way traffic and for the first time, northbound travelers will be able to use the bridge due to the City’s reconfiguration of the surrounding streets.
Other improvements included a new substructure, concrete arches, and a 10-foot wide sidewalk on the west side to provide safe travel for pedestrians. In the near future, lighting will be placed at the four corners of the bridge.
United Consulting provided construction inspection services for this project and is proud to have been an integral part of the dramatic transformation of such a magnificent and historically significant bridge!