After decades of service to Kent residents, the Harvey Redmond Bridge is being put to rest.
Work to remove the predominantly wooden structure, which served as the main artery to and from Kramer Fields at Fred Fuller Park, began Wednesday. The structure was 66 years old.
The bridge has been closed since April 2011 after being deemed unsafe because of deterioration caused by erosion from the Cuyahoga River.
The installation of a modern, concrete bridge will restore access to the four-diamond park used by Kent Parks and Recreation ball leagues by next spring.
"We're moving full-speed ahead at this point," said John Idone, Kent Parks and Recreation director. "We'll hopefully have the new bridge ready to open by the first of May."
Miller Bros. Construction Inc. of Archbold is doing the work.
Idone said a temporary causeway will be set up to cross the river, then support piles for the Harvey Redmond Bridge will be torn out followed by the removal of steel components.
The $1.3 million project is the largest capital project the parks and recreation department has conducted. The work is 80 percent funded by an Ohio Department of Transportation grant.
Idone said in the spring, an additional $100,000 will be invested by the city into restoring the baseball complex, which has been the target of vandalism.
"It looks terrible right now, but once the bridge is opened, we should be able to whip it back into shape pretty quickly," Idone said of the ballfields.
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