GREAT FALLS - As a historic bridge in Great Falls approaches its one hundredth birthday, it’s set to reopen to the public in 2020 with a few new updates.
Local non-profit Preservation Cascade Incorporated is aiming to raise $300,000 in donations and grant money to install safety railings across the 10th Street Bridge in the coming year, before it becomes an open part of the River’s Edge Trail.
It’s the latest and last phase in restoration efforts that started in the mid 1990’s. Before PCI’s creation, would-be members of the organization said they felt inspired to restore the bridge when they read about announced plans to tear the bridge down in a 1994 newspaper article.
“We said, ‘We know we can’t use it for vehicles any longer, but it’d be perfect for pedestrians,’” said PCI President Arlyne Reichert. “That’s when we started our efforts to save the bridge.”
Around that time, access to the bridge closed after decades of wear and tear from cars and other vehicles. Since then, over $1.5 million in donations and grants have gone into repairs, lights and a model arch.
So far PCI has raised $207,000 for their current goal, and they will have their yearly public meeting on Jan. 6 to talk about the bridge’s history, and discuss what steps to take moving forward.
For more information on PCI and restoration efforts, you can visit their official website and read their November 2019 newsletter below: