After nearly five years, $2 million, and a slew of volunteer hours, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke officially dedicated the new pedestrian bridge crossing the Lloyd Expressway at Vann Avenue on the East Side of Evansville. The completion of the bridge was announced just over one week after Winnecke was re-elected to a second term in office.
The pedestrian bridge made its way into the planning phase of Roberts Park, the newly-named area where Roberts Municipal Stadium stood until early 2013.
“With the bridge’s opening, we now have connected green space from Morgan Avenue and McDonald Golf Course to Lincoln Avenue and the Evansville State Hospital Grounds,” says Winnecke. “As Roberts Park is built out in the coming years, we will have the chance to create a dynamic recreational area that will benefit our entire city, and the bridge is just an integral part of that vision.”
Along with the completion of this project come questions about other projects in correlation to Roberts Park. The Evansville Parks Foundation is funding the construction of a path that will link the south side of the existing parking lot at Roberts Park to the west end of the Division Street. That construction will occur as weather permits, says Winnecke.
A dog park also has been mentioned as part of the overall blueprint for the park.
“We’ve always wanted to include a dog park as part of the overall design of Roberts Park,” says Winnecke. “The initial plans for Roberts Park called for the dog park component to be located on the north side of the expressway.”
Those plans changed after a great deal of feedback during public meetings. Many residents thought the south side of the expressway would be a better a better location for a dog park. After much discussion with stakeholders, a specific location has been designated and the dog park will be designed in consultation with dog enthusiasts.
Winnecke says the feedback he has received on the pedestrian bridge has been very positive so far.
“People appreciate the look of the bridge because it matches the new pedestrian bridge at the interchange of U.S. 41 and the Lloyd, and they love the fact that there is now a safe way to cross the expressway,” he says of the first pedestrian path, which opened Sept. 15. “The bridge has only been open a short while, but I consider the project a success. I’m confident that it will get more and more use as the park develops further.”
For more information about the pedestrian bridge, visit evansvillegov.org.