Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald announced Tuesday they will be taking on direct bridge repair and maintenance for their respective cities.
An interlocal agreement, which expires in October, stipulates that Fort Wayne and New Haven pay Allen County each year for bridge maintenance and repair.
In 2017, Fort Wayne paid the county $1.35 million and New Haven paid $70,000. For 2018, the county is requesting $2.7 million from Fort Wayne, and $470,000 from New Haven.
Officials say that giving the municipalities direct control over bridge maintenance will allow for more flexibility and direction on repairs.
New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald says the arrangement will allow for more modern approaches for maintenance.
“I'm excited to see the new ways of making bridges, there are many technologies out there that are available to us that perhaps may not have been explored in the past, and so that’s how New Haven is looking at this,” said McDonald.
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry says the decision isn’t meant as a slight to Allen County, which he said did its job effectively.
“It’s just that Mayor McDonald and I feel the time is right for us to take a look at a different approach, one that benefits our two communities and allows the county to focus on other municipalities,” said Henry.
Repair and maintenance projects will be selected in the coming months, as Fort Wayne and New Haven prepare their 2018 budgets.