City of Rockford Celebates Opening of Morgan Street Bridge

The City of Rockford celebrated the opening of the Morgan Street Bridge on Tuesday, December 17, 2013.

The City of Rockford celebrated the opening of the Morgan Street Bridge on Tuesday, December 17, 2013.

DEC 17, 2013: The Morgan Street Bridge in Rockford – planned and designed by CMT – opened on Tuesday, December 17. Local and state dignitaries, including Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider, gathered at the Rockford city hall for a reception and at the bridge site for a ribbon cutting ceremony. The celebratory tone of the event and the comments shared by speakers made it clear that to the people of Rockford, this is more than just a bridge.

“For me and the many who worked on it, this bridge represented more than just replacing old concrete and steel. It symbolized not only the epicenter and rebirth of a great American city, but it also symbolizes what happens when a great American city does an honor to history and reinvests in an area that was tired and worn from neglect, abandonment and disinvestment,” said Jim Ryan, city administrator for the City of Rockford.

CMT’s Rich Kehrlikar, Stan Hansen, Warren Knoles, Steve Prange and Mike Wittkop  were all thanked publicly by Ryan for steering the project along over the many years it was in development.

“Rich and Warren were here from the beginning, in 1999, and I knew that when I hired them that they had what it took to make sure that this would be no ordinary bridge project,” Ryan said.

The replacement of the Morgan Street Bridge evolved into an urban revitalization project that has spurred economic development and opened up recreational opportunities on the Rock River, but most importantly, it united two sides of a city. Past and current leadership were praised for having the foresight and commitment to not only replace the aging bridge during tough economic times, but also to look beyond the structure itself. As designer of record, CMT played a major role in identifying opportunities beyond the scope of the bridge replacement and in facilitating a value engineering process that identified significant cost savings in many elements of the project.

This project and its transformative benefits were featured in the November 2013 issue of Roads & Bridges magazine.

To read more about the bridge opening ceremonies, click here.

To learn more about the project, click here.


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