Fort Wayne, New Haven to take control of bridges from Allen County

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The cities of Fort Wayne and New Haven will assume control of their bridges from the county, Mayors Tom Henry and Terry McDonald announced Tuesday.

In a press conference Tuesday at Citizens Square in downtown Fort Wayne, the mayors detailed a plan to let the interlocal agreement between Allen County and several municipalities expire in October. At that point, Fort Wayne and New Haven will assume direct bridge repair and maintenance responsibilities within the cities.

The Maplecrest Road extension bridge between Fort Wayne and New Haven is shown from Nelson Road.

The plan will enhance infrastructure and control costs, the mayors said.

Under the interlocal agreement, Fort Wayne and New Haven paid Allen County annually to make bridge repairs and maintenance. In 2017, Fort Wayne paid out $1.35 million and New Haven, $70,000. In 2018, though, Allen County has requested Fort Wayne pay $2.7 million and New Haven contribute $470,000.

“Thriving cities must have an infrastructure system that works effectively for residents and businesses,” said Henry. “Preserving our bridges will be an important component of the overall strategy to make needed investments in our transportation network. A strong commitment to enhancing local infrastructure assists us in our efforts to be a point of destination city for economic development opportunities, job growth and unique quality of life amenities.”

Fort Wayne has 95 bridges, while New Haven has 20.

McDonald said those spans are “essential.”

“Bridges are essential for our community, and the city of New Haven is dedicated to providing safe and functional bridges for our residents and visitors,” said McDonald.

It’s not clear how the plan will impact Allen County government. NewsChannel 15’s Chris Darby will have more on this development at 5 and 6.