Officials gathered to celebrate the opening of a bridge in Salina that had been closed since 2012. Due to the deteriorating condition of the structure, the Greeley Avenue bridge near the Salina Bicentennial Center, which was built in 1965, was closed to vehicle traffic in late November of 2012. At the time it remained open for pedestrians.
Salina Mayor Kaye Crawford said that the original plan was to have the bridge permanently closed to traffic. But because of public input, a decision was made to refurbish the bridge.
The new bridge includes an 8 feet wide sidewalk, brick pilasters with decorative fence and lighting similar to the bridge into Lakewood Park. Other highlights of the bridge are the aesthetic colored concrete wing walls and the haunched slab design over the old Smoky Hill River Channel.
City Engineer Dan Stack tells KSAL News that 800 to 900 vehicles cross the bridge daily. When there are events at the Bicentennial Center or the Saline County Expo Center, traffic is much heavier.
For many, the bridge is a preferable entry and exit to the area. A stoplight makes entry onto, and across Ohio Street, more convenient that the Midway entrance.
The project to refurbish the bridge cost $470,000. The Kansas Department of Transportation provided 80 percent of the funds.
The bridge has been open again since early July.
Eventually as the Smoky Hill River is improved, a walking trail will pass underneath the bridge.