Blue Bridge getting a shiny new coat of paint - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Blue Bridge getting a shiny new coat of paint

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OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) -

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced yesterday that the Blue Bridge in Owensboro will get a new coat of paint next year. 

The bridge holds a special place in the hearts of residents.

Yesterday's announcement was almost like an early Christmas present for the city, and people say that the Blue Bridge is as much a part of Owensboro as barbeque and Bluegrass.

It's also a staple of events like the East Bridge Art and Music Festival, which is organized by Studio Slant.

Owner Katherine Taylor is excited for the bridge's makeover.

"I think it's a really great thing, because it'll make downtown look a whole lot better," said Taylor. 

The Blue Bridge plays a big role for businesses that are located near it, like Studio Slant.

"It's a landmark, you know? We're east of the bridge, so we named our festival East Bridge, and a lot of the downtown residents, you know, we use it as our logo," said Taylor. 

The bridge is also a symbol for the city.

It was built in 1940 and was last painted in 1987.

As far as city manager Bill Parrish can tell, the Blue Bridge could stick around until it needs another coat of paint, or longer.

"That bridge could last another 50, 70 years, particularly if we removed heavy truck traffic from it, but it is a good, stout bridge. Overbuilt for the time," said Parrish. 

Parrish says painting the bridge is like painting the front door for the newly revitalized downtown area.

"The last thing you want is someone to come through the front door of your home and focus on the doorway that's rusted out," said Parrish. 

For Taylor, the announcement means good things are coming.

Katherine "The bridge and the painting of the bridge could symbolize the future, and the strength of what downtown is to become," said Taylor. 

As of right now, that painting is scheduled to begin in the spring.

City officials say the last time the bridge had work done on it was in the spring of 2011.

The painting wasn't supposed to start until 2017, but was moved up due to the Downtown Revitalization. 

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