Traffic flows Friday on Coliseum Boulevard under the new pedestrian bridge connecting Purdue University Fort Wayne with Ivy Tech Community College. It is epected to be open for the start of 2019 fall classes. Staff photo by Mike Moore
Traffic flows Friday on Coliseum Boulevard under the new pedestrian bridge connecting Purdue University Fort Wayne with Ivy Tech Community College. It is epected to be open for the start of 2019 fall classes. Staff photo by Mike Moore
A new pedestrian bridge across Coliseum Boulevard will receive an added safety measure, further delaying its opening, a state transportation official said Friday.

The Cole-Parker Crossing Bridge, which connects Purdue University Fort Wayne and Ivy Tech Community College, was initially set to open last August. The Indiana Department of Transportation's goal now is to have it open before classes begin in August, said Nichole Thomas, the transportation department's media relations director.

Late last summer, engineers noticed inconsistent, erroneous readings when testing the tension of the bridge's cables, Thomas said. The erroneous readings continued through the winter, she said, and officials believe they're the result of the structure's complex design.

Officials are convinced the bridge is safe, Thomas said, but to be absolutely sure, a pier will be added for extra safety. The pier “will allow the bridge to carry its load in the event of extreme conditions,” including high winds, she said.

The pier is also expected to stabilize the readings, she said.

Although the bridge connects Purdue Fort Wayne and Ivy Tech, it belongs to the state because it's over a state highway, she said.
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