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Fort Wayne Parks and Rec unveil finished Wells Street Bridge restoration

Wells Street Bridge 1
ELLA ABBOTT
/
WBOI
Pedestrians cross the Wells Street Bridge, which used to be a crossing point for cars, now functions as a pedestrian bridge over the St. Mary's River in downtown Fort Wayne on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.
Wells Street Bridge Knee Joints
ELLA ABBOTT
/
WBOI
Most of the knee joints were missing the inner decorative pieces, like the ones above, and needed to be replaced.

The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department celebrated the restoration of certain decorative parts on the historic Wells Street Bridge today (Tuesday).
The decorative “knee portals” had begun to deteriorate, with many of them missing the decorative iron parts all together.

Wells Street Bridge Steve McDonald
ELLA ABBOTT
/
WBOI
Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation director Steve McDonald unveiled the restored knee joints at the Wells Street Bridge on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel said the Wells Street Bridge is an important part of Fort Wayne history and a major connection for the city.

“The way riverfront is developing, our downtown and our neighborhoods, it’s keeping that connectivity to our citizens.”
Nearly all of the decorative knee portals needed to be replaced. The restoration cost a little over $130,000, part of which was funded by a grant.

The Wells Street Bridge was built in 1884 by Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio. It still functions today as a pedestrian bridge over the St. Mary’s River.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.