The project to restore the historic footbridge in Plymouth’s River Park Square continues to move forward with the hope of completion by the end of the year.
Speaking on WTCA’s “What’s Your Opinion Show” Plymouth City Attorney Sean Surrisi said that the project that began in 2017 with the approval of INDOT for a city grant application to take on the restoration.
“We applied for it back in 2017 when we were just going through the floods,” said Surrisi. “It usually ends up being a five-year process from the time you are approved. There are a lot of hoops the state makes you jump through in the process.”
Surrisi said that the west side of the bridge has been painted, and the east side has been sandblasted in preparation for painting with the handrail and lighting for the bridge being addressed.
Normal street lighting features will be part of the finished bridge to add nighttime security for those out for a walk.
Even matching the color for the painting was a process.
“We decided on a red brick kind of color that would match the (River Park) apartments and the viaduct in that section of town,” said Surrisi. “INDOT approves their paint on what they call a ‘paint system’ and you have to have a primer, an intermediate coat, and a finish coat and they all have to be made by the same company and play well together to get approval. Our painter said he could get the color he wanted but it was made by Sherwin-Williams and the primer he used was by another company. Fortunately, our engineer and contractor worked through it all and took a sample to INDOT and got it approved.”
“It has been a pretty smooth process for us,” said Surrisi. “The contract was awarded to LaPorte Contracting who is also doing the work in River Park Square. The only change we’ve had is that on the eastern side of the bridge on the end bent, the place where the cables come together needed to be shored up. That’s about a $6-7,000 change but it won’t end up costing anything since they’ve saved more than that on some other parts of the bridge.”
The structure is the oldest suspension bridge still in use in the state of Indiana.