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Neighbors tackling problem of neglected, crumbling bridge at popular park

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A historic bridge on the near east side is crumbling to pieces. Now, neighbors are taking the dangerous problem into their own hands.

The bridge over Pogue's Run is a major connector for popular parks and a place where residents spend their time outdoors. After asking the city to help fix the bridge, neighbors are now pulling together their resources and looking for help to fund the repairs.

The bridge was built in 1903. It's considered a historic landmark, designed by Daniel Luten. The once aesthetically pleasing bridge is now not only decaying, it's also causing a huge safety problem for those who try to cross it.

"Children cross this bridge to go to school," said neighbor Lauie Klinger.

Klinger and other residents started the Pathways Over Pogue's group. They're working to get donations to help fund some initial costs for an appraiser to create a design. The city told Klinger they didn't have enough money to fix the bridge.

One main focus of the group is to ensure the bridge will keep its historic integrity.

"It used to be a very unique kind of structure that they’re going to try to replicate as much as possible," Klinger said.

The group is hoping to get at least $30,000 by May 30, 2018. The Central Indiana Community Foundation has agreed to match up to $30,000 by the end of the group’s fundraising campaign.

Neighbors are also hoping the city and parks department will continue the work of restoring the park and pathways to make them more walkable and bike friendly.

"This park has not really been a focus with the city and I think as the Near East side has become really popular, this would be a great addition," said resident Jim Leich.

It could take two years just for the design phase.

The group is hosting a fundraising event to help out with the costs on Tuesday, March 27 from 6-9 p.m. The event is a silent auction and 50/50 raffle at Tick Tock Lounge. They will also be conducting a walking tour of the trail on Sunday, March 25 at 10 a.m. starting at the CCIC parking lot at 1125 Brookside Avenue.

Click here for more on the group and how you can help.

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