COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The Old Bridge here in Columbus connecting the Island to the west side of the Riverwalk is now the new bridge. Renovation work in completed and today[Friday] there is a big celebration going on all day.
State, County, business and city leaders along with a multitude of onlookers, a two point five million dollar restoration project is officially completed on a bridge familiar to a lot of residents in the North Mississippi city who crossed it at some point in their lives.
“I crossed it when I was driving for General Felt Industries, when they had a shop out here. Crossing it back and forth when we use to pick up at General Tire over there,” said William Meyers, Columbus Veteran.
“Well I actually didn’t live here when I crossed this bridge. I was going to school at Ole Miss coming down here. To date some of the girls at the W. And quite a haul to get a date but we use to go across the bridge quite often,” said Carol Carpenter, Columbus Resident.
“When I was in my teens I use to come across this bridge at the Go Go Beach. They had a club called the Go Go Beach,” said Willie “Honeybee” Byrd.
Columbus city and county officials had for a long time wrestled with the idea of what to do with the old bridge leading from Columbus to Starkville. Supervisor Board President Harry Sanders is quick to say he wanted to scrape the deal to restore the bridge but was convinced otherwise.
“I was a skeptic to begin with. I saw the bridge deteriorate and when they closed the bridge and built a new bridge I said we just need to tear the old bridge down,” said Sanders.
Now that the old has become new, there is a celebration for what is now a landmark.
When it comes to economic development in Lowndes County and the Friendly City of Columbus, there is a feeling that this bridge could be a bright spark leading in the direction of even greater growth.
“It was a joint venture between the county and the city and the CVB. But it’s a wonderful thing and I think its going to be really good in the future,” said Sanders.
“Quite a feat of architecture and I’m so glad that we restored it,” said Carpenter.
The bridge will become a center piece to the city’s popular Riverwalk.