Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne and Ivy Tech Community College Northeast held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for the planned Parker Cole Crossing pedestrian bridge that will span Coliseum Boulevard.
Announced in fall 2014, construction of the 3,667-foot span across Indiana 930 (Coliseum Boulevard) will link the two north-side campuses. It will also connect to the Greenway by using campus sidewalks and roads to create an alternate trail route, according to a news release.
The bridge project to carry pedestrians and bicyclists has been in the works for nearly eight years and is a collaboration among IPFW, Ivy Tech, and the Indiana Department of Transportation.
When IPFW officials sought INDOT funds in 2009, they estimated the cost at $4.5 million, which is still the projected cost. INDOT and donations from the Olive B. Cole Foundation will pay 80 percent of the cost, and Mac and Pat Parker will cover the remaining 20 percent, according to the release.
It would be the third such bridge for IPFW.
Construction of the bridge is expected to be completed in June 2018. By that time IPFW may have a new name. On Friday, Purdue trustees approved renaming the university Purdue University Fort Wayne. Indiana and Purdue universities have agreed to end their cooperative management of the regional campus. Purdue will take over full operation of the university and its campus. The new name will go into effect in mid-2018.