Swinging Bridge group raises funds for repairs

The latest estimates surrounding the repair cost of the Swinging Bridge neared $1 million earlier this month but the Friends of the Cottage Grove Swinging Bridge didn't let something like a six-figure obstacle stand in their way. 

The group, which organized after the bridge was deemed unsafe for passers in 2016, had planned Saturday's fundraiser well before the March 12 news that the Swinging Bridge would cost $950,000 to repair but the new, heftier number was certainly heavier to carry along the fundraising trail. 

Saturday's event held at the armory and dubbed, Swing the Bridge, was more than a fundraiser. According to group member Dana Merryday it was also a way to raise awareness for the bridge. 

In between sets from the live music, attendees were invited to write letters of support for the bridge that will be used during the city's pursuit of grants to help fund the bridge's repair. According to development and planning director Faye Stewart, illustrated community support for a project can help sway a grant committee. 

Saturday's event, which also featured a raffle, raised $4,474 at the earliest count. The money will be combined with the funds raised through the city's round up program which allows residents to round-up their water bill to the nearest dollar amount to donate to the bridge. At last count, the fund had nearly $3,500. 

Work on the bridge, assuming existing grant requests are approved, would begin next year. 

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