Bellefontaine Examiner

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40-year wait for Sandy Beach Bridge nears end

It has been some 40 years since the Sandy Beach Bridge was last crossed by the general public.

Bridge 8-5

Concrete walkways leading to the Sandy Beach Bridge are complete, in advance of the grand opening Aug. 23. (EXAMINER PHOTO | RICK PITTS)

Now, leaders of the effort to reopen the bridge to foot traffic are hosting a grand opening event at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, with a rain date of Sunday, Aug. 24.

In 1981, the late Bill Reed, longtime owner of Spend-A-Day Marina, and his late wife Marjorie, purchased the former amusement park property surrounding the Russells Point Harbor, including the iconic bridge, originally constructed in the 1920s. It was Mr. Reed’s vision “to make the bridge come to life again as the center of activity in a bustling Russells Point harbor,” according to family, who have taken the steps to see the dream to fruition.

To that end, the Reed family partnered with the Indian Lake Area Historical Society to complete the project, recently turning ownership over to the entity that will maintain the bridge and commons area in perpetuity.

The renovation project began in 2009 with memorial donations following the patriarch’s passing. Concerted fundraising efforts in the last 18 months, including the sale of memorial pavers, major donations and other activities have exceeded the $250,000 goal to complete phase II.

 

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