A long anticipated project is getting closer to becoming reality.
The Indiana Department of Transportation held a public open house at Bosse High School Wednesday showcasing plans and designs for a new pedestrian crossing bridge at the intersection of US 41 and Washington Avenue in Evansville.
"Right now we're trying to the temperature of the public, said Jason Tiller, communications director for INDOT Southwest. "We know where we're going to put it, we know about what our budget is going to be and now it's just a matter of figuring out the aesthetic of it."
The High-Rail Pedestrian Trail would run along the west side of US 41 and connect to sidewalks on the north and south sides of Washington Avenue.
It's a highly trafficked intersection and the bridge would help improve safety for many especially the dozens of Bosse High School students who walk it every day.
For one Bosse grad who plans to send his son to the school in the future, the project offers the safety and peace of mind every parent hopes for.
"While no one has gotten hurt while I was there, there have been people who have gotten hurt on 41 trying to cross," Ken Walker said. "I just want to know that him and his friends are safe going over there and this puts me at ease a little bit knowing that we have this here and it's ensuring that our children will be coming home safely."
The open house was more than just show, allowing the community to offer input on design.
"The different options that they have given us and not just saying 'hey this is what it's going to be' definitely is what community is all about, so I love to see that," Walker said.
The project is still in the early stages with construction not set for another few years, but INDOT knows it's a hot topic and will continue to take public comments until Friday, June 4.
"It's a very important project to the public," Tiller said. "Everybody is very behind it."
Comments can be submitted through the U.S. Postal Service or email. Comments should be addressed to Christine Meador, HNTB, 111 Monument Circle, Suite 1200, Indianapolis IN 46204 or cmeador@HNTB.com.
At present, both state and federal funds are available for project construction. Project materials, including display boards and information from the open house, are available to view here.