September 17, 2023 - Mayor Tom Henry, the City of Fort Wayne’s Public Works Division, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), military officials, and federal, state and local government officials today held a ceremony to dedicate the renamed and renovated Fort Wayne Veterans Memorial Bridge. The bridge, renamed to honor our local veterans, is located along Lafayette Street (Spy Run Avenue) near The Old Fort.

The City and the northeast Indiana delegation of the Indiana General Assembly worked together to get the bridge renamed.

The public ceremony, which took place on the bridge, began with the Old Fort Guard conducting a presentation of colors, followed by a prayer from Pastor Anthony Payton, from the Ubuntu Collaborative, and remarks from local and state officials. Command Sergeant Major Brian Kiess, United States Army Reserve, Retired, an employee in the Public Works Division, and the first recipient of the City of Fort Wayne’s Blue Star Banner program in 2014, raised the American flag located at the southwest corner of the bridge. (The City’s Blue Star Banner program honors and recognizes City of Fort Wayne residents and City of Fort Wayne government employees who are actively deployed with banners displayed on light poles on Lafayette Street, between Brackenridge and Main streets.) Local Boy Scout Thomas Butler led the event attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Beacon, a sculpture by local artist Cary Shafer, was presented at the ceremony, and is also the base for the American flag. The sculpture was designed to represent the six main branches of the military. 

The construction investment was $5.3 million, with 66 percent of the funding coming from federal/state resources and the remaining 34 percent from the City. R.L. McCoy was the lead contractor on the project, Engineering Resources Inc. was the bridge designer and Design Collaborative was the architect.

The renovation of this signature gateway bridge provides motorists and pedestrians with safe and innovative ways to navigate Fort Wayne.

Project details:
*The bridge continues to provide three through lanes for motorists while also providing additional pedestrian width to enhance the connectivity of downtown to The Old Fort and the adjacent neighborhoods.

*A railing was installed to separate vehicular traffic from pedestrian traffic.

*Several bump-out areas were provided for pedestrians above the pier locations to create focal points. A pedestrian plaza area was provided at the southwest corner of the bridge. Curved columns featured at the bump-out areas accommodate accent lighting elements. Lighting for illumination of the roadway as well as the pedestrian walkways has been included.

*23,500 vehicles pass over the bridge each day.

“All of us will remember today’s ceremony as we took time to honor veterans in our community and celebrate a new bridge with a new name to show respect to those individuals who have served and are serving in the military,” said Mayor Henry. “The outpouring of support is incredible. Fort Wayne truly is a city like no other.”