The mayors of Fort Wayne and New Haven say responsibility for bridge repair and maintenance will soon be under city control. Tom Henry and Terry McDonald say a new arrangement for bridge work will provide a better benefit for taxpayers.
Currently, both cities, along with other municipalities, are under an agreement to pay Allen County for bridge repair and maintenance annually. That deal expires in October, at which point both Fort Wayne and New Haven will assume direct responsibility for bridge work in their respective cities.
Henry’s office says in 2017, Fort Wayne paid $1.35 million for the services while New Haven paid $70,000. Those numbers were set to increase to $2.7 million and $470,000, respectively in 2018.
The cities say having direct control will give more flexibility on investing in bridge repair and maintenance.
"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 within its city limits while New Haven has 20. Henry’s office says future bridge projects will be determined "in the coming months."