Bridge Discussion back on the table


Discussions on the future of the Ford Road Bridge have been ongoing for years and resurfaced recently among Boone County officials. While the Zionsville Town Council had voiced concerns on a previously submitted design, a more recent submission has gained the support of the Council.

Jeff Papa, Town Council president, clarified the town’s position on this particular project.

“The bridges are under the direction of the county commissioners. Decisions about the bridges and their funding lie with the commissioners. The town did raise concerns over a previous design over safety issues,” Papa said. “However, the plan that Mr. Carney at the county highway department was most recently working on seemed to be the right direction. In fact, I sent a letter in support of that plan. The town can certainly express an opinion, but otherwise bridge decisions are up to the county.”

Boone County Commissioner, Jeff Wolfe, spoke about the current status of the bridge replacement plan and the withdrawal of federal funding recommended by the Indiana Dept. of Transportation on Jan. 29.

“The project is over 2-years-old, and now the county will need to decide if we will reapply for federal funding. The advantage to receiving federal funding is that the county will only need to match 20 percent of the costs,” Wolfe said. “At this time, there are no definite plans but it will not be an extended amount of time before a decision has been made.”

The Boone County Council recently approved moving $500,000 into the county’s cumulative bridge fund. This amount would satisfy the 20 percent of the county’s matching contribution of the project’s $2.5 million price tag. More than 7300 vehicles pass over this bridge daily.