Broad Avenue bridge saga continues

Friends of the Broad Avenue Memorial Bridge held a meeting in the Albany Police Department community room to give the public a view of what the bridge could become and hopefully gain support.

"We see this bridge as a remarkable historic landmark that can be used for everything from bicycle and pedestrian paths to tie into our greenway to tie into the radium springs botanical garden once that's fully operational," says Christopher Fullerton, representative for the Friends of the Broad Avenue Memorial Bridge.

Supporters say preserving the site is not reinventing the wheel. In Columbus, Georgia contractors are working on a similar project. One that could be used as a model for Albany, but not all attending the meeting agree with turning the site into a pedestrian bridge.

"We need to restore that bridge so that it can decrease the traffic that's being handled by the Oglethorpe Bridge," says Albany resident Louise Primrose.

Others agree with Primrose's stance.

"I'm up in the age and I don't need to be driving way somewhere trying to get across east Albany all the way back on the west side," says Leola Kendrick McDowell.

McDowell says she remembers the bridge from her childhood. She says although she's up in age, she still drives and a pedestrian walkway would not ease her pain.

Plus there's the issue of safety, which the friends say have already been worked into the plan, that's if the TSPLOST passes.

"The broad street bridge will be refurbished temporarily for auto mobile traffic until Clarke Avenue is open and it will still be available in the event of emergency transport across the river," says Christopher Fullerton.

Fullerton says this will leave the city with four vehicular bridges for travel. He's asking everyone in support of this cause to contact county commissioners and city officials for support.

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