MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH)-- There are big plans in the making for the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown. The city wants to install decorative lighting in hopes of bringing more people to the area.
Standing high above the Connecticut River, the Arrigoni Bridge has undergone some major renovations. Next on the list, a proposal to light it up so that it's more than just a way cross the water, it's a destination in itself.
"It would make our downtown, our center core, our riverfront one of the best attractions in the state of Connecticut, if not the entire northeast," said Mayor Dan Drew.
Middletown Mayor Dan Drew says the project could cost upwards of $1 million. It's an investment he says is worth making.
"For every dollar that's invested in a project like this, there are multiple dollars that come back in the form of economic development, tourism. It's a pretty big attractor of people," said Drew.
"If the bridge were lit up, it would be an attraction. No question about it. People would come to see it," said Bob Santangelo, Middletown.
Halfway across the bridge is where Middletown turns into Portland. Drew says he's been in contact with Portland's first select-woman to gain her support.
"We hope to be able to incorporate Portland as part of this project. And hopefully, we'll be able to split the cost," said Drew.
Working with engineers, the plan is to incorporate lights that change colors. This would allow the bridge to change it's look for holidays and special events.
The mayor says he hopes to have the project complete, and the bridge all aglow, by this time next year.
"Let me add the caviat, sometimes these things move slowly. Until I even know from the engineering firm exactly how long the process of installation will take, I couldn't really give you a definitive answer," said Drew.
If the city's costs for the project exceeds $750,000, the issue of funding will go to a vote. That's when the public will have their opportunity to weigh in.
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