Washington Avenue Bridge receives annual makeover

Thomas Douty

The white panels of the Washington Avenue Bridge were slowly beginning to disappear as people from across the University put their creativity to work.
Students, student organizations and faculty members lined the sides of the bridge Thursday for the annual Paint the Bridge event.
Jane Canney, associate vice- president of Student Development and Athletics, said the two-day paint-off was designed to give students a sense of involvement in the University community.
“It gives us a chance to see the new and returning students,” said Canney.
Almost all of the painting space on the bridge was reserved for people who signed up for the event.
“All but 50 of the 648 panels of the bridge have been reserved,” said Tracie Smith, from the Campus Involvement Center.
Smith said one-hundred of the panels are saved for people who decide to drop by and want to paint.
Several panels of the bridge featuring signatures from the class of 2002 will replaced with those from the class of 2003 once the event is complete. The 2002 plaques will be moved to the Coffman Union once renovation is completed.
April Weivoda took advantage of the opportunity to display a personal message.
“I’m going to have a baby in March so I wanted to give an advanced dedication to my fiance and baby on the way,” Weivoda said.
Rachael Lang also made sure she was a part of the event.
“I wanted to do one last year, but I had class, so I made sure I got down here this year,” Lang said.
For the first time ever, the University Alumni Association will be sponsor a Paint the Bridge Contest. Panels will be judged based on creativity, Gopher spirit and design.
Materials for the event were provided by local businesses who purchased panels of the bridge for advertisement.
Paint the Bridge will continue today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
When the project is complete, Canney said she is planning a walk-through with University President Mark Yudof.