Pedestrian Bridge to Be Ready in December

By By Ali Hasnain

By Ali Hasnain

The bridge is almost complete.

According to Pete van der Have, director of plant operations, the pedestrian bridge over Wasatch Drive is expected to be ready for use by early December. The construction, which began last spring, is in its final stages, said van der Have.

The 2002 Legacy Bridge, located between Heritage Commons and the Tanner parking lot, crosses all six lanes of Wasatch Drive.

Over the course of the year, drivers have witnessed the construction and the diversion of lanes for safer access to Medical Drive.

?The inconvenience has passed,? he said.

The focus is now on the advantages of the bridge, which will be used for foot and bicycle traffic.

?It?s a safety consideration,? van der Have said. The bridge is intended for the safety of students in Heritage Commons?it is even more safe for pedestrians than crossing at a cross walk.

LaDon Roeder, assistant director of residential living, was also pleased with what the bridge represents.

?It will dramatically increase safety,? he said. ?Also, it will greatly advance students? access to campus buildings.?

Van der Have addressed the issue of convenience in regards to upcoming weather during winter.

?The bridge does have a snow- melting system,? he said. ?Snow and ice should not be an issue.?

An elevator, installed mainly for disabled people, will add to the convenience of the bridge, according to van der Have.

While ?safety was the main driving force? in the bridge?s construction, van der Have believes the bridge will inevitably mean more to the University of Utah.

?The U is proud to have it as a landmark,? he said. ?You?ll be able to see it from almost anywhere on campus?especially at night with the lighting system.?

Aside from safety and convenience, the bridge will also bear the Salt Lake Organizing Committee?s logos on it, according to Gwen Springmeyer, associate director of Olympic Coordination.

?They won?t be a permanent part of the bridge,? she said. They will be up during the Games and removed by March 2002.

?SLOC can only give us permission to use the marks through March,? Springmeyer said. ?They don?t exist after that.?

The U logo, on the other hand, is a permanent part of the bridge.

The bridge, in large part, has been made possible because of a financial contribution by the Eccles family. The George S. and Dolores Dor Eccles Foundation donated $2 million of the $5 million necessary for the project.

In recognition of this support and the philanthropy of the late George Eccles, the bridge will be named after him.

?It?s the generosity of the Eccles family that made the bridge possible,? he said.

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