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Bridge Inspires Another Rescue Attempt 

“We should be saving at least part of that bridge,” she says.

Curran has company.

Richmonder Silver Persinger has set up a Web site, www.save6.org to generate support for saving the bridge, according to an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. But it is unclear how long Persinger’s efforts have been in progress or how much interest he’s garnered. Curran has been working to save the bridge for a year.

But to do it means time and money. And Curran has little of either.

In that time Curran, 43, a Richmond attorney in private practice, has been “putting a bug in the ear” of Mayor Rudy McCollum, explaining her interest in saving the bridge. She says she repeatedly has asked: “Let me do a request for proposal for the salvage part.”

McCollum obliged and gave her the names of people she should contact, but before she knew it, much time had elapsed, she says. Now she has two weeks.

That’s two weeks to convince ECI Investment Advisors — the firm handling the demolition of 6th Street Marketplace — to mandate that contractors bidding on the job promise two things: that they can do a partial demolition allowing the bridge to come down and be reconstructed; and that they include a price for doing it.

Curran doesn’t have a figure for how much it could cost. Michael T. Laing, the local project manager for the Chicago-based ECI, could not be reached for comment.

Curran had hoped the city might provide a site near the river for the structure, or anyplace where people could enjoy it. Shy of this, she says she’s prepared to put it in her backyard as a relic for the salvage business she runs on the side.

In addition to her appeals to McCollum and the city’s office of economic development to save the bridge, Curran last week sought help from the Historic Richmond Foundation. No luck.

“I told her if it were built in 1893 and not 1993, or if it were an accepted part of our local heritage, we would have been in a dog fight about saving the building,” says Don Charles, executive director for Historic Richmond Foundation. Curran also says she’s contacted a local architect with Marcellus Wright Cox & Smith who worked in conjunction with a firm in Philadelphia to construct the building, to see if he could help her. He declined.

“I know I’m behind the eight ball, maybe too far behind to make it work. But I’m undaunted,” she says. “It may not be old but it enhances our city. And if we can’t save it where it is, the least we can do is salvage some of it.” For information call 672-2099.

— Brandon Walters

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