ELKHART — Drivers who have been waiting for the Prairie Street bridge to reopen will get their chance to cross the bridge for the first time since it closed for construction six months ago.
The bridge near Waterfall Drive in Elkhart will reopen at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 18. Northern Indiana Construction replaced the structure’s beams, widened the sidewalks by two and a half feet and added decorative lighting to new rails.
Northern Indiana Construction will face penalties for starting the bridge project early, according to Elkhart County bridge engineer Tom Rushlow. The company began working on the bridge in January, but its contract with the Indiana Department of Transportation did not start until March. Rushlow said the construction company will have $250 per day deducted from its contract, but, he pointed out, the contractor will also receive credits for finishing construction two weeks ahead of schedule. The original completion date was set for Aug. 2.