To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rotary International, the Elkhart Rotary Club presented the residents of Northern Indiana with preliminary plans for Wellfield Botanic Gardens. The unique 36-acre site, with 18 acres of water, is located on the city’s historic North Main Street well field. The master plan for Wellfield Botanic Gardens called for a bridge to be placed over the waterway at the point where two ponds converge and flow over a weir into Christiana Creek.
“It needed to be an aesthetically pleasing bridge, but it also has to handle heavy trucks, like a well rig, up to 35,000 pounds” stated Eric Amt, Master Gardener and executive director of Wellfield Botanic Gardens. “We wanted it to look like a pedestrian bridge, so the approaches and deck are stamped concrete”
The bridge spans the waterway and rests on abutments built above the 100-year flood plain where they would be less likely to be affected by major storm events. The Continental ® bridge has a cast-in- place, stamped concrete deck and is painted a light gray that allows the reflection of the bridge to be seen in the water further enhancing an already picturesque setting.
When fully completed, the Wellfield Botanic Gardens will include walkways that connect 22 gardens and feature spaces suitable for weddings, concerts and family gatherings. In addition, the plan includes construction of a Visitors Center to provide a location for educational and cultural activities.