The bridge was closed to traffic in 2011. The Friends of the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge came together to create a team that would design a pedestrian experience along the bridge to be developed by local people to further enhance the natural beauty of the Hickory Nut Gorge for generations to come. In October 2013, the bridge re-opened with flowering bridge blooms to celebrate the re-opening of the bridge.
There are now gardens along 155 feet of the bridge and along a pathway at both ends of the three-arch span itself. With an emphasis on native plants, the Friends mission was to create a “Gateway to Somewhere Beautiful” for the public to enjoy.
Cardno provided planning services for this project, which included conducting group and public meetings as well as delivering a phase plan that could be implemented as funding became available.