Blue Bridge Walking a First for Many
Friday September 30th was a fun day for Owensboro. For the first time in 3 months the Owensboro Bridge was open to traffic. For the first time in more than a half century it was open to foot traffic.
Keith Todd with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has hoped several hundred people would show for the walk/bike/run/skate before you drive experience. He was wrong, very wrong.
At 6pm officials were attempting to clear the bridge but walkers remained. Finally around 7pm it opened for vehicles. This was after an estimated 10,000 people took the time to check out the "view from the bridge of blue".
By noon Mayor Ron Payne realized what a success the bridge opening was. He told me while walking on the bridge it reminded him of the Charles Bridge in Prague. The Charles Bridge is open to foot traffic each day and is a tourist attraction featuring vendors, live music, artists, jugglers, mime's and a host of other activities daily. "What if we declared the last Sunday of September, "Bridge Day", each year?", asked the Mayor. Another great idea was born.
I talked with a bunch of people Friday. Everyone seemed to love the idea of the bridge being open for foot traffic at least one time per year. The view is great, we all need exercise and it brings people downtown.
First Baptist Church used the event as a mission. Members gave out ice water along with an invitation to attend service. The church is located at the foot of the bridge.
I am posting some photos that my wife, Kathy and I took while strolling over to Indiana and back. I hope you enjoy them.
Things continue to happen downtown with a 6 hour celebration planned beginning at 3p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 8. It is the grand opening or as they say on HGTV, "REVEAL DAY" for Riverfront Crossing. As Mayor Payne says, It is just the appetizer of things to come as reinventing Downtown Owensboro continues.