The Dodge Street Pedestrian Bridge is aging. Paint is peeling and rust showing. Now, after nearly 50 years of foot traffic, the bridge is getting a much needed facelift.
"I grew up in the neighborhood and know how important it is to the neighborhood fabric to have a visual status for the entire community," said Councilman Pete Festersen. "Thousands of cars pass over it everyday. Students go across it for safe passage to Margaret Mary's and UNO."
The rehabilitation effort will cover removal of the original 1968 lead-based paint, sand blasting and re coating of the steel. The trails around the bridge will be paved.
$75,000 in City Bridge Maintenance Funds have been committed towards the project and about $150,000 was collected through private donations.
"It's a really great example of public partnership with the city, county, neighborhood philanthropy and it's really those types of partnerships that make this special," said Festersen.
The official color is going to be "surf green" and will be matched to the familiar landmark. It also will have signage at the base - touches to make this the "most beautiful bridge in the city."
"I think it's important to access of the bridge. Without it - I think Dodge Street is dangerous, very dangerous and for the kids it's a necessity," said Jeremy Caniglia, who walks nears the bridge. "It needs to be redone. It's community building. That's a bridge we really need to build in the community."
Construction begins July 5th and will wrap up in about six weeks.