Blue Bridge to close overnight during ArtPrize due to safety concerns

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The Blue Bridge in downtown Grand Rapids will be closed overnight during the remainder of ArtPrize because of safety concerns, police said.

The bridge was the site of a shooting about 3:15 am Sunday, Sept. 11 and, recently, has become a late-night gathering spot for people.

The bridge will now be closed from midnight to 6 am

On Sept. 11, four people were injured in a shooting. Police believe two were shot on the bridge and two others were shot just east of the bridge. All were expected to survive.

The shooting was preceded by a large gathering on the bridge where there was alcohol and a live DJ, Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said earlier. Police estimated 100 people were there.

ArtPrize, which draws many visitors to downtown Grand Rapids, started on Sept. 15 and runs through Oct. 2.

Grand Rapids police, in a short news release, also said the closure was also to prevent any damage to ArtPrize installations on the bridge.

Police said they are working with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. on long-term safety solutions such as increased patrols, additional surveillance and structural changes to stop vehicles from crossing the pedestrian bridge.

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