Naming of Peterborough’s new downtown footbridge ‘Brenner Bridge’ honors former town administrator

  • Former Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner, with Selectwoman Barbara Miller, is honored Saturday morning at a ceremony naming the town’s new footbridge Brenner Bridge in her honor. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Former Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner, with Selectwoman Barbara Miller, is honored Saturday morning at a ceremony naming the town’s new footbridge Brenner Bridge in her honor. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Former Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner, with Selectwoman Barbara Miller, is honored Saturday morning at a ceremony naming the town’s new footbridge Brenner Bridge in her honor. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Former Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner, holding the big scissors, was honored Saturday morning at a ceremony naming the town’s new footbridge Brenner Bridge in her honor. From left to right, Karen Hatcher, Rivi Spitzberg, 11, Jack Spitzber, 11, Lorelei Andrade, 12, Ainslea Andrade, 16, Roland Patten, Pam Brenner, Barbara Miller, Liz Thomas, Joe Byk and Ed Juengst.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Former Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner, holding the big scissors, was honored Saturday morning at a ceremony naming the town’s new footbridge Brenner Bridge in her honor. From left to right, Karen Hatcher, RiviSpitzberg, 11, Jack Spitzber, 11, Lorelei Andrade, 12, AinsleaAndrade, 16, Roland Patten, Pam Brenner, Barbara Miller, Liz Thomas, Joe Byk and Ed Juengst.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Former Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner, holding the big scissors, was honored Saturday morning at a ceremony naming the town’s new footbridge Brenner Bridge in her honor. From left to right, Karen Hatcher, RiviSpitzberg, 11, Jack Spitzber, 11, Lorelei Andrade, 12, AinsleaAndrade, 16, Roland Patten, Pam Brenner, Barbara Miller, Liz Thomas, Joe Byk and Ed Juengst.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Jack Spitzberg, 11, the grandson of former Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner is honored Saturday morning with a key to the town. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Selectwoman Barbara Miller at Brenner Bridge Saturday. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Peterborough’s new footbridge was named after former Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner Saturday. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Rivi Spitzberg, 11, the grand-daughter of former Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner was given a key to the town Saturday. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/15/2019 6:25:30 PM

Former Peterborough Town Administrator Pam Brenner was honored Saturday with the town’s new footbridge dedicated in her name.

“It is thrilling to be here and to celebrate the culmination of so much hard work by so many visionary people. One of those people, of course, who was instrumental in making this happen, was our town’s Pam Brenner,” Selectwoman Barbara Miller said at the ceremony. “I hope that Brenner Bridge is a symbol of everything that Pam stands for – foresight, resourcefulness and consensus building. I also hope that this bridge is a reminder to all of us that collectivity we can achieve our vision for this town, but we need to work together to do that.”

Brenner retired in 2015 after more than 20 years as the town administrator. Miller said it is fitting to name the footbridge after Brenner because she was known during her time in Peterborough for her ability to build bridges between people.

“Pam was always good at building bridges,” Miller said. “Usually they were the bridges, however, that mended relationships or brought people together.”

Brenner Bridge is part of Peterborough’s $1.4 million Riverwalk parking lot project. The Grove Street 57-space parking lot is tucked behind Post and Beam Brewing and The Petersons, Inc. and connects to Depot Park by a footbridge, which is placed on top of existing stone piers in the Nubanusit Brook that once shouldered a railroad tracks over the brook.

“I am truly humbled,” Brenner said, “And to all the citizens of Peterborough, it was a huge privilege and honor to serve the town for a little over twenty years and I am extraordinarily grateful for the recognition you have bestowed on me today. I did my best to serve Peterborough, all of our citizens, the elected officials and most especially the members of the Select Board I had the privilege to serve: Liz Thomas, Larry Ross, Roland Patten, Charles Leedham, Robert Duhaime, Ed Juengst, Gene Kellogg, Joe Byk, Barbara Miller and Tyler Ward.”

Many of the town’s former Selectmen gathered in the Riverwalk parking lot near Brenner Bridge for the Saturday dedication. Miller said the project was one of many in town Brenner has her fingerprint on and is the result of years of planning and collaboration.

“Today is certainly a momentous day,” Miller said. “As far back as 2012, it was clear that parking in the town center was inadequate and would only get worse as the town continued to grow. At that time, Pam Brenner was the Town Administrator and I served on the Select Board with Liz Thomas and Joe Byk. We knew that we needed to provide additional parking to encourage people to shop and play downtown. I still remember the exhaustive study, surveys, visioning sessions, public forums and hearings that the town conducted that year to choose the best location. Comprehensive public process before a project gets on a warrant.”

In recognition of the lasting impact Brenner has had on Peterborough, Miller presented Brenner’s four grandchildren – 11-year-old twins Jack and Rivi Spitzberg of Albany, New York, and sisters Ainslea, 16, and Lorelei, 12, Andrade of Sandwich, Mass., – with keys to Peterborough.

“I live in this town and I will probably walk on this bridge very often. When I do, I will be reminded of your grandmother and the critical part she played in its construction,” Miller told the children. “But you all live out of town and don’t have that same opportunity. So, I have a key to this town to give each of you as a remembrance of today. I know you are proud of your grandmother,” Miller said.

The event concluded with a ribbon cutting at the bridge.

Riverwalk project

With the new parking lot in place, the town plans to change the Wall Street municipal lot – located next to the Peterborough Community Theatre and across the street from the Peterborough Diner – from a 24-hour lot to a four-hour lot.

Riverwalk is to serve as a 24-hour lot, but there will be free permits available to park there up to 72 hours.

Greyhound bus plans to review the lot after it is open to determine if Peterborough can be added to its route from Brattleboro, Vermont, to Keene, to Nashua, to Boston, Massachusetts.

The $1.14 million cost of the project is coming from the town’s Downtown TIF District fund.




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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