Bridge restoration wins award:
The restoration of Dunn’s
Bridge at the new county park unit along the Kankakee River has won a
statewide engineering award. Porter County Park Board President Richard
Hudson (left) is shown presenting Commissioner President Dave Burrus with a
plaque honoring the bridge restoration for its engineering excellence. The
award was announced March 8 at the 15th annual Engineering Excellence
Banquet, sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies. The
bridge project now will be entered into a national engineering competition. (Photo provided)
By VICKI URBANIK
The restoration of Dunn’s Bridge at the new county park along the Kankakee
River has won a statewide engineering award.
Porter County Park Board President Richard Hudson presented Commissioner
President Dave Burrus with a plaque honoring the bridge restoration for its
engineering excellence. Hudson made a similar presentation earlier in the
week before the county commissioners.
The award was given during the 15th annual Engineering Excellence Banquet
sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Indiana on
The Dunn’s Bridge restoration engineers, Butler-Fairman and Seufert Inc.,
received the honors award for their restoration work. The bridge project now
will be entered into a national engineering competition.
In a banquet program, Dunn’s Bridge was called one of Porter County’s most
recognizable landmarks. The program noted, though, that the source of the
design of the 1904 bridge is still a mystery, with some sources saying the
bridge was part of the world’s first ferris wheel, while others saying it
came from salvaged roof trusses from the Indiana House at the World’s Fair
Burrus thanked the park board and staff for helping to save and preserve a
piece of Porter County history.
“I think we have an exceptionally valuable asset here,” he said.
Burrus also took note of the county’s fiscal problems and commended Park
Superintendent Ed Melendez and his staff for assisting with maintenance work
elsewhere in county government.
A formal dedication of the Dunn’s Bridge park is expected to be held
sometime this year.
In other matters Thursday:
• Park Board Attorney Dave Hollenbeck said a feasibility study on whether
Porter County should impose impact fees will be unveiled on April 28. The
impact fees could be used to generate revenue for the park department.
• Board member Reggie Korthals said a notice will be posted immediately for
the vacant contractual position of special events coordinator. The park
department will organize the upcoming kite festival itself, but contracted
help will be sought for the Gaelic Fest, Holiday Lights Festival, and
possibly another large event.
The special events coordinator had been a full-time position at the park
department, but funding cuts last year prompted the change to a contractual
post on a per-festival basis.
• Park Foundation President Tim Cole said the foundation has secured the
funding for about two acres of seeding the new, eight-acre Helen Dancey
Meadow at Sunset Hill Farm County Park, named in memory of orinthologist and
ardent park supporter Dancey, who died last year.
• On display at the park board meeting was a new attraction for the county
parks: a child-sized trailer fashioned out of a hollowed-out barrel,
complete with a steering wheel and safety belt, all made in-house from
recycled materials. Park Superintendent Ed Melendez said kids will be given
rides in the trailers during the park’s festivals.
He said the Lake County Parks Department offered the same entertainment at
one of its festivals, raising $750.