LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) — Traveling into Logansport has become a little easier on Sunday. The Market St. Bridge is open and newly renovated. It was closed for 18-months for construction.
According to Mayor Dave Kitchell, the former bridge was ranked unsafe in Indiana. This new bridge has new arches and a new design.
Kitchell said today has been highly anticipated. He said the bridge closure had the hardest impact on local businesses but the time it was closed has helped build a stronger community.
“It has made, I think, the relationship between customers and merchants on this side of town stronger because you have to work a little bit harder, you have to travel a little bit longer to get to the west side,” said Kitchell. “I think when they've seen what we've got now, it's a more inviting entrance to downtown Logansport.”
One new feature is the wider sidewalks. The mayor said this bridge will help connect communities beyond Logansport borders.
“People can go from our downtown trails and the Nickel Plate trail to Logansport and over here to the panhandle pathway on U.S. 35 to Knox (County) and of course on to Lafayette so this is the crossroads of trails in Indiana,” said Kitchell.
Kitchell said this new bridge should last another century with some touch-ups throughout the years.
And as one structure goes up in Logansport another is coming down. The former Rural King store at the Cass Plaza shopping center will be demolished.
It has sat empty since Rural King was moved to the former Walmart on the east side of town. The Indiana-based plaza owners, Hamstra Group plan to repurpose the space for future retail.
This demolition will be joining two other reconstruction projects in the city. The former Taco Bell that sits across from the plaza is coming down as well as the former JCPenney store at the Logansport Mall.
“We are growing, construction is a thing here that's putting a lot of people to work, it's investing in our city and it shows people that we're growing that people are not running away, that they're not giving up on Logansport, that they're very much invested in Logansport,” said Kitchell.
Mayor Kitchell said providing more housing and retail is on the forefront for the city.
“Thriving right now with more new housing than we've had in 50 years and the reserves show that we're growing financially so our ceded revenue is up, we know that we'll have more income tax to invest in economic development beginning next year,” said Kitchell.
Mayor Kitchell said demolition will begin early next year, weather permitting.