The Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority today announced the specific conceptual design details of the restoration plan for the Grand Rapids Indiana Railroad Bridge, the popular "Blue Bridge" crossing the Grand River just north of Fulton Street in Downtown Grand Rapids. The rehabilitation will include:

A fresh coat of the signature blue paint.

Installation of additional lighting underneath the bridge that will reflect off the water and add a new element of ambiance.

New color-changing LED lights that will enable the bridge to "read" a variety of hues on special occasions. Colored lighting typically will project blue, enabling the Blue Bridge to stand out 24 hours a day.

"When we complete the restoration, the bridge will be blue - but better," said DDA Executive Director Kristopher Larson. "We received a great number of ideas via community forums and social media platforms. The color blue was the overwhelming favorite. Fresh paint and new lights will only strengthen the aesthetics of the Blue Bridge as a Downtown icon."

"However many voices in the community also valued the idea of changing things up once in a while - if only even briefly. So the innovative lighting system allows us the flexibility to do blue as well as different hues as we might choose."

Click here and here for conceptual renderings of a restored Blue Bridge lit at night. (Both files in JPG format)

The renovation project also includes bridge deck repairs to improve pedestrian safety.

The DDA expects construction to begin and be completed this summer.