Vehicle traffic was brought to a halt on North High Street in Hillsboro on Tuesday in order to make foot traffic more accessible.
A long-planned pedestrian bridge was put into place Tuesday near Walgreens and Taco Bell, part of a city plan to create a foot path that will eventually stretch from Hillsboro’s uptown area all the way to Southern State Community College.
Street Department Supervisor Randy Barr said traffic was reopened around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Barr said the bridge was successfully placed over the small creek that exists at the spot, but there are a few more days of work to place railings and other safety features before it is opened to the public.
Barr said plans call eventually for a crosswalk to be marked at the Northview Drive stoplight so pedestrians can cross from the bridge to the Walgreens area and back. He said the pedestrian bridge and the eventual sidewalk extension will be helpful because a number of people, including individuals pushing baby strollers, attempt to navigate the area on foot.
Barr said the bridge work will likely be completed by the end of this week or early next week.
The Hillsboro Police Department was on the scene redirecting traffic through most of the day as motorists navigated around the heavily-traveled stretch of road.
Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Todd Wilkin told city council earlier this month that the bridge was almost ready to place.
The bridge is part of a number of changes that have been in the works on the north side of town, including the completion of the Carl Smith-Hobart Drive road and a new right-turn lane being installed for southbound traffic at Pizza Hut. The city is also exploring a widening project for North High Street.
The city’s contractor also began work Monday on North East Street, resulting in that street being closed from East Main Street to East North Street, with detours available.
Local residents will be given access to their homes. Northbound traffic will be routed from U.S. 50 to U.S. 62, and then Collins Avenue back to North East Street.
Southbound traffic will be routed from Collins Avenue to U.S. 62 then U.S. 50. The closure is expected to last two weeks.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.