Broad Bridge advocate reacts to demolition - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Broad Bridge advocate reacts to demolition

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Demolition is moving along on the old Broad Avenue Bridge nearly 4 years after it was closed for safety reasons.

Some advocates fought to save it.

They're sad to see it come down, but some say it's now time to move on.

Earlier this year Njemile Ali pleaded with city officials to renovate the bridge and not tear it down. Although that didn't happens she hopes the new brings economic progress to Albany.

As the Broad Avenue Bridge comes tumbling down piece by piece.

Njemile Ali, an advocate who tried to save the bridge, says it will not be forgotten.

"It's been here all my life and I'll miss it," said Ali.

Back in April, Ali stood in front of city commissioners and asked that the bridge be rehabilitated instead of torn down and rebuilt. That didn't happen.

"That did the bridge mean to me? Umm... We don't have enough time," said Ali.

Ali has accepted the bridge's fate, although she says it wasn't easy. Now she hopes a new bridge will bring economic prosperity to the city.

"I care about history I care about the bridge. We weren't able to save it and I have to think about what the bridge represents for Albany and for Albany's people. The people are the most important thing. The bridge is one of our treasuries. Our people are still here and remain in need of a whole lot of economic support. I want the city to build bridges of economic opportunity for our people," said Ali.

When asked if tearing down the Broad Avenue Bridge was a step in the right direction, says she isn't sure and only the future will tell.

"This is a step. It's just a step. It remains to be seen whether or not it will contribute for bridges of opportunity for our people," said Ali.

She hopes for the best as demolition of the bridge continues.

We checked with city officials tonight to see when exactly will the bridge will be completely demolished and we were told late December but that it may be a little after that due a late start by the demolition crew.

Crews are making sure no debris ends up in the river. It will likely be early 2015 before the new bridge opens.

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