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Grand Rapids Remodeling Company

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Places to Visit in Grand Rapids, MI

The Blue Bridge

Blue bridge is one of Michigan’s longest truss bridges, with four truss spans and a deck plate girder approach on the west end. The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad bridge was once known as the Blue Footbridge. The original railroad bridge was constructed in 1868, and its successor, constructed in 1874, was destroyed in 1883 during the big log jam. The present bridge, which is the city’s oldest railroad bridge, was completed in 1892. Trains ran between Muskegon and Mackinaw City across this bridge. When train service stopped in the 1980s, the bridge was rebuilt, painted its unique blue hue, and transformed into the Blue Bridge, a pedestrian promenade that spans the Grand River.  The Blue Bridge, located in the middle of downtown, is a renowned pedestrian bridge. The bridge connects the city center on the East side to the Grand Rapids Public Museum and Grand Valley State University buildings on the West Bank and is located between Fulton and Pearl. Blue Bridge is an outstanding example of a railroad through a truss bridge with pin connections. Each of the four spans has five panels and is designed in the Pratt truss style. For a railroad bridge, there is a lot of v-lacing on this bridge, with it on vertical members, sway bracing, and beneath the top chord, which contributes to the geometric beauty of the bridge. Blue Bridge is supported by magnificent stone piers and abutments. The bridge was designed to handle two rails due to its breadth. The bridge’s deck has been resurfaced with concrete, and metal pole railings have been installed. The bridge is a beautiful sky blue color. The large deck of this bridge also allowed for the installation of chairs on the bridge for visitors to sit and enjoy the sight. Along with the other Grand River bridges downtown, this bridge has ornamental lights at night. This bridge is the trendiest site in town on July 4th because it provides an excellent view of the fireworks. Blue Bridge continues to be a beneficial asset for Grand Rapids in 2009 when it was used as a location for the first-ever ArtPrize contest, a wildly successful and popular event that brought stunning art to the downtown area. The repurposing of Blue Bridge has helped create a viable and easy crossing for non-motorized transportation while also preserving a stunning historic monument. The bridge was repainted in 2013. The community was given the option of choosing a color, but overwhelming support for repainting the Blue Bridge blue ensured that the color would remain the same. The ornamental lighting was also replaced at this time, from the traditional white necklace-type lights to LED color floodlights that can bathe the bridge in any color light requested. These new lights are the most up-to-date in bridge lighting design.

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