San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Japantown community leaders revealed a fresh coat of paint and held a ceremonial inaugural walk across the Webster Street Pedestrian Bridge Thursday.
The bridge has served as an important connector between historic Japantown and the Fillmore/Western Addition.
It was once light gray.
Now it bursts in a dynamic red that resembles gates found outside Shinto temples in Japan, called torii gates.
“This is more than a bridge, this is a walkway that symbolizes community and harmony for so many who are deeply rooted in San Francisco, and surrounding neighborhoods,” Breed said.
“As we celebrate this bridge, which now continues to connect the communities, we recognize the importance community advocacy and renew our commitment to supporting one another through goodwill and gratitude.”
The Webster Bridge was built in 1967 as part of a larger redevelopment project in the Western Addition, spanning from over Geary Boulevard at Webster Street.
It was considered for demolition years ago as part of a streetscape makeover, but community leaders fought back, claiming it provides a vital link between the two neighborhoods.
Recently, the Japantown Community Benefit District and the Japantown Merchants Association pushed to repaint the bridge. Now its vermillion rails are visible for blocks from the east and west. The refresh comes as the city prepares to welcome more than 20,000 people for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation week, which runs from Nov. 11-17.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure the delegates have a great experience, that people are safe, and to make sure that neighborhoods are places that folks visit like Japantown, where we are today,” said Breed.
Source: NBC Bay Area