Downtown’s ‘Blue Bridge’ gets a ‘better blue’


A rendering of the restored "Blue Bridge," illuminated by new lighting, at night. Courtesy Downtown Development Authority

The color has been chosen and signature blue it is.

The next step for the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority is to solicit bids from contractors for the restoration of the Pedestrian Bridge — more often referred to as the Blue Bridge — that connects downtown with the GVSU Eberhard Center.

Besides re-painting the bridge, the work also involves installing new lighting underneath it. The lights are expected to reflect off the Grand River and add a new nighttime ambiance to the structure. LED lights that change colors will also be added.

“When we complete the restoration, the bridge will be blue, but better,” said Kristopher Larson, DDA executive director.

“We received a great number of ideas via community forums and social media platforms," he added. "The color blue was the overwhelming favorite."

The work, which is expected to get started and be completed this summer, also involves making repairs to the bridge deck.

“Fresh paint and new lights will only strengthen the aesthetics of the ‘Blue Bridge’ as a downtown icon," Larson said. "Many community voices also valued the idea of changing things up once in a while, if only briefly. So the innovative lighting system allows us the flexibility to do blue as well as different hues.”

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