Rest up; the big bridge walk is just around the corner.
Morenci’s 19th annual trudge across Silver Creek gets underway at 11 a.m. Labor Day on the south edge of Morenci, following a series of one-minute speeches. It’s a short bridge—about 83 feet—so speeches are on the short side, also.
Guests will walk across the historic pedestrian bridge that once carried traffic over a creek in Hillsdale County. The truss bridge was refurbished and placed in Morenci through a state highway department grant. A ceremony in 2004 opened the bridge to the public.
Earlier bridge walks—before the pedestrian bridge was put in place—traveled across the less interesting but also historic Van Wagoner bridge on East Street South. That bridge was dedicated in the 1930s as the entrance into Michigan for the Taft Highway tourist route from Florida to the Upper Peninsula. Walk both bridges while in the neighborhood.
The Morenci Education Foundation’s mini-grant program was chosen by the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce as the benefactor for this year’s bridge walk. Profits from the sale of T-shirts will support the grant program that funds special programs and needs of Morenci teachers and students.
Foundation president Bill Van Valkenburg has chosen “Every step makes a difference” as the theme of the walk and he’s hoping participants will choose to benefit Morenci students in two ways.
First, buy a T-shirt to back the mini-grant program. Second, bring an item or two of school supplies to help students in need. Suggested items include backpacks for all ages; highlighters, colored pencils and markers; calculators; binders, spiral notebooks and folders; protractors, rulers and compasses; glue and scissors; combination locks; and 24-count boxes of crayons.
Donations can also be taken to the United Bank and Trust.
And come prepared to walk. It takes 20 to 25 seconds to cross, depending on the flow of traffic.