For the more than 4,000 people who cross busy College Avenue between Rollins Street and Hospital Drive each day, the trek will be much safer beginning this fall.
Construction of a $4.2 million pedestrian bridge is scheduled to be finished by mid-August. The bridge will be located where about 60 to 70 percent of those crossing College Avenue chose to walk, according to surveys by MU Residential Life, main sponsor of the project, said MU spokesperson Christian Basi.
Residential Life director Frankie Minor said safety concerns prompted the building of the bridge.
MUPD Captain Brian Weimer said that between August 2003 and May 2004, two students were hit while legally crossing the street. There were 11 other pedestrian-vehicle accidents on campus during that same time.
The College Avenue bridge is the second of such bridges on campus. The first, which crosses Providence Road, was built two years ago, mainly to allow safe crossing to people going to and from Faurot Field.
The new College Avenue bridge will be much wider than the Providence bridge to allow a two-way flow of pedestrian traffic, as well as bikes and small service vehicles such as snow plows. The new bridge, like the Providence bridge, will be wheelchair accessible.
The bridge’s east entrance will have what Minor described as “a very natural walk-up.” The west side will have “a low, sweeping ramp,” making it easily accessible to those in wheelchairs or on bikes.
“I wish the bridge was there when I lived in Hatch,” said Rachael Sheridan, an MU senior who lived in Hatch Hall her freshman and sophomore years.
Hatch and Schurz halls, each of which house about 550 students, are the only two residence halls on the east side of College Avenue. This location separates them from the other residence halls, and more importantly, most of the dining halls.
Please see Bridge, page 8A