A good amount of the credit for motivating Jeff Hersey to move Terra Gallery and Creative Studio from the Short North to Dublin in 2016 can be given to the city’s new pedestrian bridge.
“It’s pretty much why I moved here,” Hersey said.
Hersey said he chose his current spot, at 36 N. High St., because of its proximity to the bridge’s landing spot in Dublin’s Historic District.
He said he hopes the bridge will generate additional foot traffic for him, as well as attract more diverse clientele.
Retail and restaurant owners on both sides of the river could be affected by the March 13 opening of Dublin’s bridge, officially named the Dublin Link.
The bridge is scheduled to be opened to the public during a celebration that evening.
A light show is planned for 8 p.m., as well as special effects focusing on the bridge. At 8:30 p.m., the span will be opened to the public. The light show will run until 11 p.m.
Hersey said he plans to keep the gallery open during the festivities, with a collaborative group painting of local scenery and a clay-sculpture demonstration.
The gallery also will feature live music Saturday evening and a continuation of the group painting, he said.
Jamie Mollwitz, owner of Boho 72 at 72 N. High St., said she plans to keep her shop open until 8 p.m. March 13.
She said she hopes the bridge will create more activity in the Historic District.
“People are very excited about it,” she said.
Across the river to the east, in the Bridge Street District, Kyle Elder, director of coworking and first impressions at coworking space Brick House Blue, said staff members there are “beyond excited” to see the Dublin Link open.
“Our coworking members, visitors and guests will now have so much more at their disposal during the workday – from the incredible view to so many more stores and restaurants, and all within walking distance,” he said.
Brick House Blue has two locations in the Bridge Street District – 6605 Longshore St. and 6515 Longshore Loop.
The advent of the bridge’s completion also is exciting city staff.
Megan O’Callaghan, the city’s deputy city manager and chief operating officer, said city officials are proud of the design. The city worked with Kokosing Construction Co. Inc. to build the bridge, she said.
In the first year, work included forming and pouring the concrete for the main tower, she said.
The second year included fabricating steel beams and the cable system, working with companies in Europe and in the U.S.
“We’re really proud of the end result,” she said.
Construction for the bridge began in February 2017, said Lindsay Weisenauer, a public-affairs officer. The construction cost was $22.6 million.
The city worked with architect Endrestudio of Emeryville, California, on the design, O’Callaghan said.
The architect shared multiple concepts during public meetings in 2012 and 2013, and the Dublin community and its leaders “fell in love with and embraced” the suspension-bridge design, she said.
The bridge’s S curve is meant to echo the river meandering through the city, she said.
Matt Earman, director of parks and recreation, said the bridge is an iconic piece that connects the city’s Historic District west of the river with the Bridge Park development east of the river.
Riverside Crossing Park on the banks of the river will offer places to stop along the way, he said.
Earman said the park’s west plaza is near completion.
Most of the remaining work will be on the east side of the river, he said. A temporary access way for pedestrians from the east plaza will be in place during construction.
Earman said he hopes to have the permanent upper plaza open by the end of the year. He said the lower plaza should be open by the end of 2021.
Nelson Yoder with Crawford Hoying, the firm developing Bridge Park, said the bridge opening would increase foot traffic in the development, which Crawford Hoying has been preparing for the past seven years.
“We’re thrilled about it,” he said.
The community celebration for the bridge opening is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. March 13, with music in two locations – Bridge Park Avenue between Riverside Drive and Longshore Street and on North Riverview Street.
During the celebration, several streets will be closed. North High Street will be closed from 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. northbound between Bridge Street (state Route 161) and Rock Cress Parkway and southbound between North Street and Rock Cress Parkway.
Darby Street will be one way, northbound only, north of Bridge Street from 7:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
North Riverview Street will be closed between North Street and North High Street from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Bridge Park Avenue also will be closed at the same time between Riverside Drive and Longshore Street.
Longshore Street will be closed between Tuller Ridge Drive and Bridge Park Avenue from 6 a.m. March 12 to 6 p.m. March 15 for a tent party at Fado.