Bridge entrance upgrades part of larger plan
SPRUCE PINE – Upgrades to the entrance to the walking bridge connecting Riverside Park with downtown Spruce Pine was a project to not only improve aesthetics, but also increase safety.
The project is something Spruce Pine Main Street has been planning for the past couple years and complies with the overall master plan for downtown development.
“It is a collaborative effort between Spruce Pine Main Street and the Town of Spruce Pine,” said Libby Phillips, executive director of Spruce Pine Main Street. “With Mayland’s plans to add a satellite campus across the river, our objective is to renovate the bridge to improve safety and increase foot traffic from the campus and Riverside Park into our downtown shops and businesses.”
The upgrades tie into the sidewalk extension project Spruce Pine Main Street is working on with town officials to create a more pedestrian-friendly community. Other goals from the master plan are also incorporated into the project, which includes adding new lighting and public art to the downtown district, Phillips said.
“I requested the town set aside money in last year’s budget for sidewalks,” Phillips said. “This spring, new sidewalks were poured in nine locations in town. The design and beautification committee is working on identifying additional locations for sidewalk in the coming year.”
The rock wall at the bridge’s entrance was added to serve as a “gateway” to the college and park. Finials created by local blacksmiths were incorporated as was foot lighting.
“Eventually we would like to add additional lighting and new railing across the bridge,” Phillips said. “The town purchased several new benches from local merchants that will be added to several locations in town. Two of these have already been added to the entryway of the walking bridge.
The retaining was across from the bridge’s entrance was painted earlier this summer as well as the public parking lot above the News-Journal office. A new flower planter was created with the addition of the sidewalk coming off the bridge.
“I would like to say that the Town of Spruce Pine has been instrumental in helping Spruce Pine Main Street attain and achieve our goals for downtown development,” Phillips said. “We are very grateful for their support and their commitment to make Spruce Pine a better place for all.”