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Saving the view to the bridge

Posted: Friday, Nov 30th, 2012

Dignitaries who braved the wet day included, left to right, Ron Hogeland, the “mayor” of Old Town; Nola Xavier, city councilor and chairwoman of the Florence Urban Renewal Agency; Cal Applebee, executive director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce; Dick Smith, who as a Boy Scout in 1936, walked across the bridge in its grand opening ceremonies; Ann Huntington, a member of FURA whose family history has long been based in the area; Suzanne Roberts, councilor and FURA member; Jacque Betz, city manager; Paul Holman, councilor; and Phil Brubaker, mayor.

City officials and a small group of citizens gathered in Old Town Thursday to break ground on the future Siuslaw River Bridge Interpretive Center, the last remaining open space on Bay Street.

The center will remain a park-like area, which, through signage, will tell visitors the history of the bridge and the wetlands.

An interpretive center for the Siuslaw River Bridge has been on the drawing board for more than 10 years.

It was originally conceived as a federal project to enhance the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. ODOT still presides over the project, a unique partnership for the agency as well as the city.

Over the years the center’s concept changed, from a structure under or on the bridge span to a wayside in the center of Old Town. As the year’s passed, so did the project’s price tag.

For the complete article see the 12-01-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-01-2012 paper.

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