City to fund bridge


Seymour city officials have agreed to pay half the cost of a pedestrian bridge to be built at Freeman Field Park.

The bridge will carry the Grassy Fork Trail over a ditch surrounding the park, giving people a safer way to enjoy the trail, parks director Brent Jameson said.

The other half of the $13,000 project likely will be covered by Seymour Community School Corp., which will discuss the expense at a school board meeting Tuesday.

The high school and middle school cross-country teams use the Grassy Fork Trail for meets and practices in the fall. The 3½-mile trail, which is through the wooded area around the park, also is available to the public for walking and running.

The bridge will be about 32 feet long and will be a covered bridge, Jameson said.

“We thought it would tie in well with the local history here and the other covered bridges,” he said.

Darin Johnson of Seymour has volunteered his time to build and install the bridge as a way to improve the trail he created, along with help from others, in 2014.

Construction is scheduled to begin July 29 and should be finished in time for the first cross-country meet Aug. 20, Jameson said.

The main reason the bridge is a good idea is safety, Jameson added.

“It will give pedestrians access to our trail where they don’t have to cross the entrance to the park where cars are going in and out,” he said. “Before, during cross-country meets, we would have to hold up traffic to allow runners to cross. It just wasn’t safe.”

Jameson said the bridge will add a unique element to the 5K cross-country course, which will help draw people to the trail and park.

City council members unanimously approved the expense during a brief meeting Monday night. The money will come from the city’s parks department budget, Mayor Craig Luedeman said.

Since the property is owned by the Seymour Municipal Airport Authority, the city has to enter into an interlocal agreement with that board. The Jackson County Drainage Board also has to sign off on the project because the bridge will span a drainage ditch.

Maintenance and upkeep of the bridge will be the responsibility of the parks department, Jameson said.

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