ROCHESTER — Mayor Caroline McCarley and City Manager Daniel Fitzpatrick are pleased to announce that after five months of renovations, the Dewey Street Pedestrian Bridge is once again open to the public.
At a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 8, officials — including City Councilors Elaine Lauterborn, Bob Gates, Ralph Torr and Ray Varney –, residents and students gathered at the bridge for the official reopening.
“Our new pedestrian bridge came out great,” Mayor McCarley said. “I want to thank everyone who was involved in the rebuilding process. I think residents will be happy to once again get across the river and will enjoy the new design.”
First built in 1958, the Dewey Street Pedestrian Bridge runs above the Cocheco River, and has long served as a crossing point for students going to Spaulding High School and residents walking or biking at Hanson Pines.
Lifelong resident Bob Broadbent and his wife, Carol, along with Spaulding High School 2017 graduate Emily Reynolds, who created an interpretive trail in the Pines as part of her senior project, attended the ceremony and performed the ribbon cutting. They then led the group of city officials, students and residents across the bridge.
Broadbent remembers first crossing the bridge when it opened almost 60 years ago. He and Carol now live just a few houses down from the Pines.
“I used to fish off the bridge, and went to school over the bridge,” he recalled. “Going over it today felt great. I love it.”
Students from Spaulding High School’s environmental sciences program made a special trip out to cross the bridge, as they often do work in the Pines, under the leadership of teacher Darren Scopel.
Once over the bridge, guests were provided with coffee and breakfast treats, which the Trustees of the Trust Fund generously donated to the event. Mayor McCarley would like to thank the trustees for their continued dedication to maintaining and beautifying the Pines.
Reynolds, who arrived home last night from Alaska Pacific University, was happy to see the bridge completed. She hopes current and future students will be able to add the history of the old and new structure to the interpretative trail, which is a one mile loop through the Pines that’s lined with QR codes for those traveling through to find out more about the area.
“I really wanted to make this community better with the interpretive trail. Hanson Pines is beautiful,” Reynolds said. “I hope the new bridge gets more people on the trail.”
The $780,000 in renovations to the bridge were completed using city funds.