Hands Across the Merrimack Bridge Opens

Historic occasion marks the completion of seven years of work, dedication and vision

Manchester, NH – Armed with a deep appreciation for history and an unwavering vision for what could be, a group of dedicated citizens, public officials and others set out to build the Hands Across the Merrimack bridge, a connector of the City’s east and west sides. On Friday, April 11, the bridge will open after seven years’ worth of fundraising, planning and construction.

“This is an important and pivotal moment for the City of Manchester,” said Helen Closson, who, in 2001, approached then-Mayor Robert Baines with her vision for the bridge. “Not only does the bridge harken back to the days of the Notre Dame Bridge, it serves Manchester residents now, connecting the east and west sides of the city.”

The bridge opening ceremony will be held Friday, April 11, 2008 at 5:15 p.m. on the west side of the bridge. Mayor Frank Guinta and Helen Closson are among the event speakers. A plaque will be unveiled and a ceremonious ribbon cutting will mark the official opening of the bridge. Attendees will cross the bridge, from west to east, to MerchantsAuto.com Stadium where the Fisher Cats are playing the Connecticut Defenders. The Fisher Cats will host a reception for those involved with the construction and opening of the bridge.

The bridge spans the Merrimack River, from the east side riverfront near MerchantsAuto.com Stadium where the Fisher Cats play to the west side of the City, near Second Street. The bridge will serve as a hub for the many walking and biking trails that wind through the City.

For now, residents and visitors will be able to cross the bridge to attend events at the stadium, shop, dine or visit locations on the opposite side of the Merrimack River. The Hands Across the Merrimack Bridge will also be available to groups interested in holding art shows, concerts, receptions or other events on the bridge.

“This bridge belongs to the city and to the citizens of Manchester,” said Closson. “We want people to use it and enjoy it.”