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Structural problems lead to delay and added costs on Lafayette promenade

The promenade stretches along the Wabash River from Columbia Street to Rhiele Plaza behind the MARQ building, but what was supposed to take a year has taken much longer.

Posted: Mar. 27, 2019 5:31 AM
Updated: Mar. 27, 2019 8:46 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A new promenade was supposed to be ready for use in Lafayette by October of 2017, but nearly a year and a half later it's still not finished.

"It's a complex site with a lot of complex issues to manage," said Wabash River Enhancement Corporation Executive Director Stanton Lambert. "So yeah, it's been a tough project."

It's a $2.8 million project about the length of a city block.

The promenade stretches along the Wabash River from Columbia Street to Rhiele Plaza behind the MARQ building, but what was supposed to take a year has taken much longer.

"When the MARQ had a delay, it caused a delay for the promenade," explained Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski.

And it isn't done yet.

"This is more of a design issue than a construction issue," said Lambert.

It was the design that first caused concerns not long after crews broke ground in November of 2016.

Roswarski serves as the Wabash River Enhancement Corporation Board President. He was touring the area when he and other board members noticed something concerning when a train passed.

"There was vibration in the railing and the railing had more movement than we anticipated," Roswarski said.

Lambert said it was time to go back to the drawing board.

"We went back through and we analyzed every bolt, every beam, every moment connection and we made sure that the structure was sound," Lambert said.

New structure and supports were added to fix the problem, but it came at a cost.

"$400,000, while a lot of money, if you're dividing it among people, it's not such a huge amount," said Roswarski. "I think we could get through it."

The city of Lafayette paid $600,000 to add stairways and ADA accessible ramps from city property to the promenade. The actual promenade is paid for through a grant from North Central Health Services.

Roswarski said they won't know if the grant will cover it all and who will pay for any overages until work wraps up in June.

"I would hate for it to go to litigation, but we'll continue those discussions," Roswarski added.

Lambert said the experience has prepared them for the next phases of the project which will extend the promenade to Brown Street.

"We know what to look for, what to expect and how to address those issues going forward," said Lambert.

News 18 reached out to the project's designer, MKSK.

A spokesperson said they're are working with Wabash River Enhancement Corporation to make this the best project it can be. They are deferring any other comment to WREC.

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