Pedestrian bridge on Providence could be torn down

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — There was little discussion of a $293,000 project to make crossing Providence Road safer for pedestrians at Monday night's City Council meeting.

The project would take place on Providence Road between Park Avenue and Switzer Street. It would tear down an existing pedestrian bridge and would, instead, install a ground-level crosswalk.

The primary purpose of the project is to enhance safety for people crossing the five-lane road. It would be paid for from non-motorized vehicle transportation funds.

John Glascock, the city's director of Public Works, said a raised median would restrict vehicles from turning left onto Providence Road from Switzer Street in an effort to help streamline traffic. He also said the median could be made low enough for emergency vehicles to cross over should they need access to one of the affected streets.

City Manager Bill Watkins said there were no opponents at an interested parties meeting held on Feb. 17. Two people came forward with public comments Monday night.

Bill Easley said he thinks the existing bridge is in good condition and money could be saved if crosswalks at the nearest intersections are utilized instead.

“I don’t see why it would take so much money to maybe just build some white lines,” Easley said.

"It ain't hurting nothing and it ain't deteriorating or nothing," he said of the bridge.

Linda Rootes, the president of the North Central Neighborhood Association said a few of the board members from her neighborhood attended the interested parties meeting and none had objections.

"This is a project we've been interested in for a long time," Rootes said. "The board seems to be in favor of both building the new crosswalk and tearing down the current bridge."

Council will vote on the project at the city council meeting on May 3.


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