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Grand Rapids’ ‘Blue Bridge’ Will Get A Makeover, But Remain Blue

flickr, music2fish2 (eric lanning)

There’s been talk for a few months now of giving Grand Rapids’ landmark ‘Blue Bridge’ a bit of a makeover, and it seems officials have finally come up with a plan. For those concerned that the color would change, fear not, we won’t have to call it the red, green, yellow, or orange bridge in the future. The bridge will remain blue, but there are other changes being implemented, too. Find out more after the jump.

Tuesday morning, the Downtown Development Authority announced the plans they have in store for the blue pedestrian bridge located in downtown Grand Rapids that we all simply refer to as “The Blue Bridge”. It will receive a new coat of that signature blue paint, though. Just to freshen it up a bit.

Officials will also be installing new lighting underneath the bridge that will reflect off of the Grand River at night. But, that’s not the end of the lighting changes. New color-changing LED lights will also be installed on the bridge and will change colors to coincide with special events. The majority of the time, the lights will remain blue, which will make the bridge really stand out at all times of day.

The bridge deck will also likely get an overhaul, which will make it safer for those who walk it daily.

According to WOOD-TV8, the Blue Bridge holds a lot of history, and actually has an official name. Turns out it’s not “The Blue Bridge” at all, but the Grand Rapids Indiana Railroad Bridge. It has been in Grand rapids since 1892, and is the oldest railroad bridge that crosses the Grand River.

The revamp of the bridge will cost about $1.3 million. The DDA will be footing $897,000 of that bill, and some state transportation funds will cover the remaining $400,000.

Construction should begin and be completed by this summer.

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