Span Linking Convention And Science Centers Named After Mike Peters
By JENNA CARLESSO
July 26, 2011
HARTFORD —— While in office from 1993 to 2001, Mayor Mike Peters built bridges among the city, state and community.
So it was fitting that the new 270-foot bridge linking the Connecticut Convention Center to the Connecticut Science Center was dedicated Tuesday as "Mayor Mike Peters Bridge."
"This is what he did in the community — he built bridges," his wife, Jeannette Peters, said. "I think he would be absolutely thrilled." Peters died of complications related to liver cancer in 2009.
Construction on the bridge began on April 20, 2009, and finished on July 6. It connects the science center to the patio of the convention center, running parallel to I-91.
The project cost $5.9 million and was funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy remembered Peters as a "larger than life" personality.
"He loved his city. He loved his people … and he wore it on his sleeve every single day," Malloy said. "In some of Hartford's darkest days, he literally carried the city on his back."
When plans for the city's Adriaen's Landing redevelopment project — which includes the convention center and science center — were floated more than a decade ago, Peters greeted the proposal with enthusiasm and promises of support.
Peters' wife noted Tuesday that he worked as a consultant for the convention center and was involved in the conceptual stages of planning for the science center.
"It's bittersweet," she said of the bridge dedication. "It's a wonderful tribute to him."
A bronze plaque inscribed with the words "Mayor Mike Peters Bridge" is at the bridge's convention center entrance. A memorial bench for Peters is on the science center plaza near the bridge.
"Mayor Mike instilled in us a hope for a better future and a better Hartford," said Arthur Anderson, who served as the first board chairman of the Capital City Economic Development Authority, which maintains the bridge. "We wanted him to lead us to brighter places, and he did."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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