Beloit's bridge to somewhere
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BELOIT A bridge that has been out of commission for about a year now has a new look and a new name.
The reconstruction project for the Ken Hendricks Memorial Bridge, formerly the Henry Avenue bridge, has been completed. A dedication ceremony for the project was planned for Saturday, Sept. 8, as part of the Heritage Days weekend activities. (The ribbon cutting was planned for after deadline. Check Facebook.com/StatelineNews for the latest.)
As part of the project, the bridge’s deck was completely reconstructed, the bridge was widened from two lanes to four lanes, a 10-foot wide off-road bicycle path was constructed on the south side of the bridge and a 5-foot walking path was installed on the north side.
“It’s a much better quality structure with more capacity,” said City Manager Larry Arft. “It also will be a far more attractive addition to the city’s infrastructure.”
The bridge also includes some decorative features.
“There’s decorative lights and railings,” Arft said. “There also will be ambient lighting under the bridge, so it will be viewable both during the day and during the night.”
Arft said the bridge, which was originally constructed in the 1950s, had to be rebuilt, because it was in deteriorating condition. He said the additional lanes will help accommodate more traffic in that area.
“The bridge was gone,” Arft said. “It was inadequately sized, and the bridge deck, literally, had holes through it, so (the project) was a major reconstruction of what we had. The entire corridor has been undergoing upgrades to four lanes all the way from Shopiere Road all the way to Sixth Street on the west side of the city. So, this was another part of that process.”
While the bridge was being rebuilt, traffic was rerouted to the Portland Avenue bridge downstream and the Newark Road bridge upstream. Arft said there were not many reports of traffic problems, during the time of the project.