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Pedestrian bridge to be removed next week

August 7, 2015 By Käri Knutson

Removal of the pedestrian bridge over University Avenue between the George L. Mosse Humanities Building and Vilas Hall is scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 10, with work continuing throughout the week.

The bridge is being taken down due to its deterioration and a decline in use, especially after a traffic signal was installed for pedestrians at East Campus Mall a few years ago. The cost of replacement is prohibitive given the fact that fewer people use it.

The bridge was built in 1971, with deterioration causing numerous repairs, says Gary Brown, director of campus planning.

“While we understand the bridge has long been part of campus, we need to do what makes financial sense,” Brown says. “It will take some getting used to, but its deterioration has reached a point where we either have to replace or demolish and the replacement cost is just too high.”

In 2013, an engineering report recommended that the span be removed or replaced. With a replacement cost of $1.5 million, the decision was made to remove the bridge.

University Avenue between Lake and Park streets is planned to be closed completely from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday. During that time, westbound through traffic will be detoured by taking a left turn onto North Frances Street and then to West Dayton Street. Motorists should expect multiple lane closures and traffic delays throughout the week. Pedestrians and bicyclists will also experience various detours as the project proceeds. Work is scheduled to conclude Monday, Aug. 17, depending upon weather.