With the finishing touches on the Amherst Street Bridge complete, an event is under way to celebrate the gateway to Springfield, Tuesday, Aug. 27. Lee District supervisor Dana Kauffman (D) is behind the parade, which will be a walk-over with music and refreshments, called "Lighting the Heart of Springfield."
"It's a way to say thank you to VDOT [Virginia Department of Transportation] and the Federal Highway Administration for working so hard with the civic association and business community in Springfield," Kauffman said.
Linda Waller, assistant in Kauffman's office, is putting the final touches on the event.
"It's really a terrific gateway to Springfield. We will be closing the street for a short time. We are tying it in to the theme of central Springfield, the heart of Springfield,"
The bridge was officially dedicated on Veterans Day in November last year, but the finishing touches, called “acorn lights," which are different from the typical street light, are spurring the latest gala. Local politicians will be on hand, along with a TAGS bus, Kings Park Band and refreshments from Fresh Fields, which is now called Whole Foods. Waller hopes it will evolve into an annual thing.
American Legion commander Lou Libscomb is aware of the special lights.
"The lights are certainly attractive. I can't think of another bridge in the area that looks as nice," he said.
Kings Park resident Laura Boivin avoids the area because of the construction and buildup in the central Springfield area.
"That area of Springfield has really deteriorated. If that helps it, then why not? Why not have a little gateway into Springfield?" she said.
Libscomb is aware of the celebration, but unfortunately the National Convention of the American Legion in Charlotte, N.C., is occurring at the same time. Libscomb will be at that celebration, but other Legion members will march across the bridge on the 27th, he said.