When the footbridge in Belfast reopened in September 2006 after more than a year of renovations, it was heralded with a big party. There was food, speeches, a kayak and canoe race, and, of course, this being Belfast, poetry readings.

The town had wisely chosen to preserve the original bridge, built in 1921 to carry Route 1 across the Passagassawaukeag River. The Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, still new even after almost 50 years, now holds Route 1 traffic, but the footbridge is now a tranquil gem just off the main drag in downtown Belfast.

Whether you lazily cast your line in hopes of catching mackerel, you go for a stroll across and back as part of your morning routine, or just stop to admire Belfast Harbor, it’s a wonderful, integral part of the community.

The bridge serves simultaneous duties as a remembrance of old Belfast, before development and new citizens moving in, and a symbol of new, vibrant, growing Belfast. On Oct. 8, the footbridge will be rededicated as the Armistice Bridge. The bronze plaque honoring veterans of World War I, lost sometime in the 1960s, will be replaced with a new plaque. And the footbridge will continue to stand, bridging the east side of town with the west, and the old Belfast with the new.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.