Big, expensive makeover planned for downtown Grand Rapids bridge
December 13, 2012 | WGVU
Some big changes in store for a well known Grand Rapids landmark. The blue bridge linking the downtown area with Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus, is up for a total makeover.
But as WGVU’s David Moore reports, a question over paint is what people are talking about, at least for now.
In real estate, the mantra is “location, location, location.” In this case, “color, color, color” might better fit the bill. Should it be left the Blue Bridge, or will we have to start calling it the fire engine red bridge, or maybe the forest green bridge?
At the top of the question list-What color was it originally painted back 120 years ago when it began life carrying trains over the Grand.
To help shed some light on the issue, WGVU called Grand Rapids City Historian Emeritus Gordon Olson, who recalls a similar discussion about the Sixth Street bridge as renovation of that span began.
Olson says “there they tried to go down to the original surface to determine what the bridge had been originally painted. And one way you do that is to simply take a good paint chip that goes all the way to the bare metal and basically turn it on edge under magnification and those thin coats of paint become a little wider and you can see them distinctly.”
Besides the paint job, whatever hue that turns out to be, there are also some structural repairs planned, and state-of-the-art color changing LED lighting has also been mentioned.
No word yet though, on when we might see all these changes start to happen.
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