Allen County got a sweet gift from the federal government, it was announced Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day: millions of dollars for bridge replacements for Fort Wayne and other areas.

Fort Wayne is getting more than $6 million toward replacements of the Bluffton Road Bridge over the St. Marys River and the Goeglein Road Bridge over the Bullerman Drain.

Of Fort Wayne’s nearly $6.5 million, over $5.5 million is going to Bluffton Road project and $958,400 for the Goeglein Road Bridge.

About 25,000 vehicles per day use the Bluffton Road Bridge. The Goeglein Road Bridge serves 2,700 vehicles per day. Both bridges currently have weight restrictions.

Construction will begin in 2025. Design work may begin later this year.

Allen County Highway Department is overseeing the replacement of five bridges over the next five to seven using the federal dollars to cover construction costs.

The Indiana Department of Transportation informed the department this week that more than $6.6 million in federal funding has been awarded for the projects. The federal aid will fund 80% of the construction costs. INDOT said it may have more money available for engineering and right-of-way acquisition costs.

Two of the five bridge replacement projects are expected to be bid in late 2023 or 2024, with construction occurring 12 to 18 months after the bidding. They are:

• Bluffton Road bridge over the Harbor Ditch just south of Winters Road (total estimated cost, including engineering and right-of-way acquisition: $2.4 million)

• Monroeville Road bridge over the Hoffman Ditch just west of Fackler Road (total estimated cost: $1.7 million)

The other three bridge projects are scheduled to be bid in late 2024 or early 2025, with construction taking place 12 to 18 months after the bidding. They are:

• Amber Road bridge over the Little River where Amber intersects with Branning Road (total estimated cost: $1.2 million)

• Antwerp Road bridge over the Oberhaltzer Ditch on the west edge of Harlan (total estimated cost: $1.5 million)

• Slusher Road bridge over the Edgerton-Carson Ditch immediately west of Brobst Road (total estimated cost: $3.4 million)

This week Indiana Department of Transportation announced $120.8 million in federal transportation funds for projects around the state, with $87 million of the money going to 54 bridge projects.

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