to hold its own bridge
would be Nov. 30
ceremony by bridge officials
(October 2010) It may seem premature to begin
thinking about how to celebrate the new Milton-Madison Bridge re-opening
in fall 2012, but a committee representing various business and nonprofit
groups has been discussing just that.
Jan Vetrhus, who headed last year Madisons Bicentennial
Celebration, chairs the group, which meets monthly at Madisons
City Hall. She is aware of the festivities that occurred in December
1929 when the current bridge was dedicated and opened. While she says
it is unlikely to see 18 queens and 73 parade floats from dozens of
communities rolling down Main Street, like there were back then, the
plans are shaping up to include bands, music and more.
Its hard to think about all that when there is so much to
do right now, Vetrhus said. We are just about ready to get
the news on the contract bid letting, and that will really set things
Indiana Depart-ment of Transpor-tation officials on Sept. 22 received
and reviewed construction and design bids from five companies and are
expected to select the winning company in early October. At that time,
details on the construction timeline and bridge closing dates will be
The committee, meanwhile, is working on three phases, Vetrhus said:
1. How to survive the current bridge closure during construction and
getting the word out; 2. working with local businesses while the bridge
is closed; 3. planning the marketing and activities surrounding the
And when the time comes, it will likely fall to this committee the task
of planning what Vetrhus expects will be a grand re-opening event
of some kind. Im sure there will be a ribbon-cutting, similar
to the one in 1929. We do have the Madison Concert Band, which was created
for the Madison Bicentennial. They are working on some music to be played
along with the restored film of the first dedication ceremony of 1929.
The 35mm nitrate, silent black-and-white film has been restored to a
DVD and will soon be available for sale to the public by Historic Madison
Jenny Eggenspiller, development director for the City of Madison, also
sits on the committee and says she is hopeful that the consultants
tentative plan to hold a groundbreaking for the new bridge on Nov. 30
would be a nice kickoff event to a weeklong celebration heading into
the Madison Christmas Parade on Dec. 4.
Whether its Nov. 30 or some other date, we hope to make
it a big deal that lasts over several days, Eggenspiller said.
She said the committee also hopes to incorporate a Buy Local
campaign to assist the business community through the closure of the
current bridge during construction. That closure is expected to last
between nine and 12 months.
We want to do whatever we can to get the whole thing off on a
positive note, Eggenspiller said.