bridge could get recycled, gain new life on
Charles M. Bartholomew
-- For several years, Kankakee Valley Historical Society president John
Hodson has been looking for a bridge as part of his plans for an
educational/-recreational site at
purchased the abandoned Collier Lodge next to the river, hoping to
restore the old hunting club, and partnered with Notre Dame
to begin archaeological excavations there.
been looking for a historic bridge, that we could move there and
restore, like at Dunn's Bridge, to put over a section of the
that's still in its original state," he said.
thinks he may have found just the structure, designated Bridge No. 2,
over the river in
. The bridge is slated for removal as part of an INDOT project to
rehabilitate another bridge downstream at the Indiana-Illinois state
said he's met with
engineer Duane Alverson, state engineers and legislators, and
representatives of the Indiana Historic Landmarks Foundation
going to attend a state meeting on (Friday) in Indy to make our case. Nobody
seems to doubt that we are the best fit and should not have any problem
getting the donation of the bridge approved, but they still want to see
me there," he said
state wants to build a new base for the state line bridge, raise the
upper portion of it, and get rid of Bridge No. 2 in the same
project," he said.
to the engineering report by R.W. Armstrong of
, Bridge No. 2 was built in 1920. The deck was repaired in 1991,
and in 1998 the State Historic Preservation Office notified INDOT the
bridge met criteria for inclusion in the National Register of Historic
Places. In 2006, two
commissioners signed a memorandum of agreement with the state to offer
the bridge to any approved entity or person for relocation.
key is, we can preserve it somewhere where it belongs," Hodson
said his group would have to find money to move and install the bridge
looking at a (Transportation Enhancement) grant.
has indicated they may apply for us. (
suggested floating the bridge up to us, since the river is pretty
straight," he said.
on this story at www.post-trib.com.
swap could benefit historical society projects
Charles M. Bartholomew
-- A delay requested by an
county official for a bi-state bridge project might benefit the Kankakee
Valley Historical Society.
president John Hodson is seeking to have Bridge No. 2 over the river at
Clay Street/Range Line Road
donated for relocation to a planned education/recreation site for the
Collier Lodge at
wants to replace the 89-year-old bridge and has proposed to rehabilitate
Bridge No. 36 on the state line, which it shares with
, as required mitigation for replacing Bridge No. 2.
last week, everybody agreed that we're the perfect fit. It's a historic
bridge, and it would be spanning a section of the river that's in its
original state," he said.
and two other society members attended an April 3 engineering
consultant's meeting in
with federal, state, and
officials and Jim Piekarczyk,
told the meeting that his county had to be a party to any project
involving the state line bridge, since jurisdiction is shared with
, including signing a memorandum of agreement under which the bridge
would be donated to the Historical Society.
to the meeting minutes, he said that
may not agree with rehabilitation of the bridge and may not be willing
to sign the memorandum.
seemed to be miffed that he wasn't contacted about the meeting,"
Hodson said later.
County Highway Superintendent Marcus Malczewski could meet with
Piekarczyk to discuss any objections.
will give us time to work on some plans and grants to have the bridge
moved," Hodson said.
also said Lake County was willing to store the old Bridge No. 2 for up
to 15 years to give Hodson time to find a way to move the structure and
would give him first right of refusal if another applicant comes
bridge funding for Porter, Lake counties
April 17, 2009
By Charles M.
LAPORTE -- Lake and Porter counties came up short Thursday morning as
staff of the Indiana Department of Transportation's LaPorte District
announced the forwarding of five bridge replacement projects to
Indianapolis with favorable recommendations for federal bridge funds.
Among the projects are $1,032,000 for Bridge No. 198 over Carpenter
Creek near Remington in Jasper County and $50,750 in additional funding
for Bridge No. 34 on LaPorte County Road 500S over Miller Ditch,
according to local projects assistance co-ordinator Marcia Blantsett.
A final decision will be announced April 29.
Blantsett said the money, which can be used only for
construction and needs a 20 percent local match, will use up almost the
entire $3 million that has been allotted for bridge work in the
Not ranking high enough in terms of need were Porter County
bridges No. 96 on County Road 250W over Salt Creek, No. 165 on County
Road 600E over the Little Calumet River in Pine Township, and No. 93 on
County Road 100W over Hall Creek in Porter Township.
Also turned down because $816,000 has already been approved for its
replacement was Lake County Bridge No. 2 on Clay Street over the
Kankakee River, which the Kankakee Valley Historical Society is seeking
as a donation for its proposed recreational/educational park at
Blantsett told KVHS president John Hodson the project is tentatively
scheduled for bid letting in 2011.
want bridge relocated for use as teaching tool
(219) 762-1397, ext. 2225
| Tuesday, April 21, 2009
| To some it may be an unsightly, rickety one-lane bridge, but John
Hodson looks at the Kankakee River bridge at Range Line Road in southern
Lake County and sees a masterpiece.
Hodson, president of the Kankakee Valley Historical Society, said he'd
like to see the bridge moved to an area near the historical society's
Collier Lodge, which is located near Kouts in a preserved area where the
river formerly flowed.
officials have said the bridge needs to be replaced due to aging and
"The bridge would fit nicely," he said of the proposed move.
"They want it to go to a group that will restore it."
Before being drained in the early part of the 20th century, the wetlands
around the Kankakee River were a haven for waterfowl hunters from around
the Midwest, with lodges surrounding the
area in southern
Relocating the bridge near the lodge could provide an educational and
recreational opportunity for the southern part of
, Hodson said. The 174-foot truss bridge originally was constructed in
the 1920s, shortly after engineers relocated the river.
"We have an opportunity to explain this history of the area, what
happened when they straightened the river," he said. "It
really devastated the ecosystem here."
Hodson and other preservationists have been working on obtaining the
bridge for the better part of a decade. He said that bridge and another
Kankakee River bridge at the state line are involved in a dispute
between the states of
, as well as preservationist and conservationist groups.
Tentative plans call for restoring the bridge at the state line and
replacing the bridge Hodson wants relocated near Collier Lodge. While
the state line bridge has been closed for a number of years due to
deterioration, people still fish off of it, and some conservation groups
like the fact that traffic no longer flows over it, making the area more
suitable for wildlife.
Hodson said he hopes the dispute will be settled soon and both bridges,
which have been on the lists of endangered structures, will live on in
Ultimately, he sees the restored hunting lodge and the bridge as the
centerpieces of an area that could include a walking trail along the
"It should fit almost perfect across here," he said. "I
think eventually it will happen."
Times video link to Range Lind Rd Bridge #2