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Residents share their thoughts on Amsterdam pedestrian bridge

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Albany/HV: Residents share their thoughts on Amsterdam pedestrian bridge
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Residents in the city of Amsterdam are getting their say in a $16.5 million project.
As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, no one can tell a city's story better, than the people that live there themselves.

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. -- Philip Lyfore, an Amsterdam resident, said, "I thought this might be an interesting thing to have on the bridge."

Residents came well prepared to Monday night's meeting, to share thoughts on how they would like to see, the soon-to-be pedestrian bridge, embellished.

"It's an introspective opportunity for people to share their thoughts on the ownership of the bridge," said Rep. Paul Tonko, (D) 21st District.

"We want to ask our residents what they want to see in the way of elements, such as metal work, or structure, or medallion, interpretive signage," said Ann Thane, (D) Mayor of Amsterdam.

The $16.5 million structure will connect the city's North and South sides. Dozens of residents filled the Amsterdam High School to voice their opinions on how they want their city's story to be told.

"I think what will really make it successful is if everyone is gets to tell their story and share their triumphs and share their sorrows. My dad's a world war two vet and I'd love for him to be able to tell his story," said Amsterdam resident, Michael Plaumbo.

Suggestions from the meeting will all be taken into consideration before making any final decisions.

"We'll see which are the most profound, and I think you'll see us narrow it down by which we can make the most powerful statements," said Tonko.

Deciding which historical pieces to include on the bridge is one of the last steps of the project. Mayor Thane tells us, construction should begin sometime next spring, and the bridge should be completed in 2015.

"I've got my fingers crossed, I hope this really flies, and I hope it flies with real bright colors," said Plaumbo.

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