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Want to help Paint the Bridge? Here’s how ...

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With the Nov. 15 kickoff of the “Paint the Bridge” initiative, funds are being sought to restore and repaint a landmark dear to the heart of Breaux Bridge citizens – the historic drawbridge situated on, aptly named, Bridge Street, in the downtown area.

Long overdue the project will cost between $500,000 and $700,000, much of which will go to the safe “containment” of lead based paint which will have to be removed through sandblasting.

Some of the funding, it is hoped, will come by way of a grant or grants pending inclusion on the list of National Historical Bridges of Louisiana. Word on this decision is expected in February 2014.

Private donations will, nonetheless, provide a significant amount of the monies needed for the project and therefore a “Paint the Bridge” committee has been formed to raise funds.

Committee chairman and Breaux Bridge City Councilman Gary Champagne has enlisted the support of such civic organizations as the Kiwanis and Lions clubs, the Breaux Bridge Area Chamber of Commerce as well as individuals who have made financial donations.

Additional support has come from the City of Breaux Bridge, the St. Martin Parish Tourism Bureau, the Breaux Bridge Tourism Bureau, the Breaux Bridge Volunteer Fire Department, the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, members of the Breaux Bridge City Council and local state legislators, particularly Rep. Mike Huval.

Persons wishing to make financial donations should make checks payable to the non-profit Community Foundation of Acadiana with a notation in the memo section reading “Paint the Bridge.” All donations are tax deductible.

The foundation’s mailing address is 1035 Camellia Blvd., Suite 100, Lafayette, La. 70508. Inquiries concerning donations to the foundation should be directed to Erin Winder at (337) 769-4842.

“Paint the Bridge” committee chairman Gary Champagne urges involvement from area citizens saying that any amount of volunteer effort or financial donation would be appreciated. Champagne can be reached at (337) 371-9971.

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