MLK Bridge Dedication Will Draw Dr. King Relative To City

By Jeff Neumeyer

June 1, 2012 Updated Jun 1, 2012 at 6:24 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Fort Wayne's mayor on Friday toured a major bridge replacement project that will be shown off in all its splendor to the public on Monday.

The new Martin Luther King Memorial Bridge near Headwaters Park features more than a thousand lights, including some that can change colors to commemorate special events and seasons of the year.

The project is crossing the finish line behind schedule.

The bridge was supposed to be completed in December 2011, but an unforeseen sewer repair caused delays.

Good weather this spring actually helped crews play catch up, but the work still wrapped up about six months late.

The overall price tag is $8.8-million, with the state and federal government paying all but about $2-million of that bill.

There were cost overruns of between four and five percent.

" I think that includes design costs and everything from the very beginning. The actual construction is going to end up about $7.5-million, a little bit over original projections, but not bad, considering the size of this job," says Roger McNeill, INDOT’s project supervisor.

Monday, June 4th will be an important date, in terms of introducing the bridge to the public.

There are about 1,200 lights ringing the structure.

Officials will light the bridge about 9:30 that evening.

It’s anticipated that about a thousand spectators will attend the dedication ceremony.

Visitors should arrive around 9 p.m., and park in the City-County Building parking garage or other lots to the south of the bridge.

There will be a distinguished guest on hand, with ties to Martin Luther King’s family.

Dr. Derek King Sr., Reverend King’s nephew, is expected to attend the lighting event.

Dr. King himself visited Fort Wayne June 5, 1963, speaking before a crowd of more than 2,000 people at the Scottish Rite Auditorium.

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