For almost six months the bridge on Lowell’s Main Street was closed to westbound traffic due to construction. The entire bridge was replaced. The community knew about this construction well in advance. And rather than complain about the disruption a positive spin was put on the whole thing.
Our Downtown Development Authority (DDA) along with our Chamber of Commerce made the idea of this construction and inconvenience on residents, businesses, and those who travel through our city positive. People were encouraged to continue to shop locally. Merchants had sign ups for “bridge bucks” each time one came in and purchased something. Each week throughout the construction winners were selected. The prizes of $50, $20, and $10 could then be spent at participating stores.
Trolls were also made and placed in stores. These trolls were in need of new homes while their residence was being rebuilt. Each week in the local paper and on a bridge construction blog the story of another troll was told. During our recent Harvest Festival the trolls were auctioned off.
Finally during the bridge ceremony last weekend the big troll was revealed. In time there may be some sort of platform built around him. But for now he keeps watch over the new bridge.
The troll also has a great view of the city as he sits in the Flat River. And it was fantastic seeing our small community do something fun like this throughout the construction. The DDA, Chamber of Commerce, and local merchants did a great job.