Story posted December 27, 2007
Bowdoin's track team has gone over and above the call of duty to help restore something that has been underfoot for generations. The Brunswick-Topsham Swinging Bridge, a pedestrian span built in 1892, was rededicated in September after a restoration project that cost more than $700,000.
Part of their running route for more than fifty years, the swinging bridge has earned a warm place in the hearts of Bowdoin runners. The track team donated $1,000 to the restoration effort in 2004, and in December 2007, increased its contribution by $500 for a total of $1,500.
For years the track team has raised money by holding a day camp for youngsters in February during school vacation. The team decided to use part of the proceeds from that event to help restore the bridge that has become not just part of their routine, but part of their lives.
"Running across the swinging bridge is the highlight of many of our favorite running routes," said Bowdoin College track coach Peter Slovenski. "The history of the bridge, the beauty of the river, and the swaying of the bridge as we run over it - all make this a special place for Bowdoin students and runners."
Nancy Randolph, co-chair of the Swinging Bridge Committee, says the committee is in the midst of creating a non-profit group that will provide for ongoing maintenance and beautification of the bridge.
"The track team's contribution is just another notice that this is just a really great project," said Randolph.
The Swinging Bridge was originally built in 1892 for workers walking from the Topsham Heights neighborhood to the Cabot cotton mill in Brunswick. It was built by the John A. Roebling's Sons Company, the engineering firm that designed and built the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City and other bridges around the world.
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