I discovered in talking to people who were watching the bridge that this is the third location for this bridge. Laird's Landing is not where the bridge was initially installed, but I got conflicting stories about where it was originally. It was installed on a road, but when the road was changed or a new bridge was built, this bridge became surplus and was bought by the Laird family and installed north of Laird's Landing. That is why a bridge that looked far too big for foot traffic ended up at that location.
I also learned that there was a fair amount of damage that had to be repaired before the bridge came back to Rensselaer. That makes sense--it is a very old bridge that has been out in the elements for a very long time.
Below is a picture of the bridge looking upriver. It will not look like this very long. After the deck and the railings are added, it will look considerably different.
Update: The bridge and park improvements are funded by a Transportation Enhancement grant of roughly a million dollars from the federal government that is administered by the Indiana State Department of Transportation.
The first I-beam was placed early this afternoon.
Update 2: The beam did not stay, but was removed. Late this afternoon the painters were back doing more touch up.