Rehabilitation of the pedestrian bridge a necessary effort | Our opinion
One of Bowling Green’s most iconic spots is the College Street Pedestrian Bridge.
The site of the bridge has long been a gateway to downtown Bowling Green, with the first span across the River Barren built there in the mid-1800s. This bridge was burnt down by retreating Confederate forces in 1862. A new bridge at this location suffered a similar fate, being destroyed by fire in 1915. The current bridge is the one rebuilt that year.
Although it no longer carries vehicles, the College Street Bridge is still very busy. Along with the occasional strollers, the bridge has become a popular scenic backdrop for photographers.
While the bridge has been regularly maintained, the 106-year-old structure is in need of some work.
The City of Bowling Green Commission last week approved a $ 1.6 million grant application from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for Transportation Alternatives Program, which would be matched with the city’s $ 400,000.
For the $ 2 million, the pillars and decking would be repaired and new lighting would be installed. The biggest expense, however, would be to repaint the bridge.
“Back then, we used lead paint” to paint structures like bridges, said city public works manager Greg Meredith. There are “a ton of bridges across the country that still have lead paint,” he said.
While the lead paint on the pedestrian bridge is covered in coats of new paint, a portion of the $ 2 million would be used to remove all coats of paint in order to permanently solve the lead problem.
The pedestrian bridge is the iconic backdrop to an area set to undergo millions of dollars in renovations as part of a larger effort to transform the riverside into what has been called a ‘waterfront’ area. ‘outdoor adventure’ with many new park equipment.
We have strongly supported this effort to revitalize an underutilized area of the community.
Repairing and beautifying the pedestrian bridge is a logical and necessary part of the laudable effort. This will help ensure that the bridge will remain an icon of Bowling Green for many decades to come.
Articles in “Our Opinion” in the Bowling Green Daily News exclusively represent the majority opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board and do not necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of other Daily News employees.