Washington Ave. Bridge restricted for school year

A bicyclist rides around a crowd of people in the Washington Ave Bridge on Thursday.  The UMPD will start handing out $80 fines for people who do not dismount their bicycles.

Jennifer Whalen

A bicyclist rides around a crowd of people in the Washington Ave Bridge on Thursday. The UMPD will start handing out $80 fines for people who do not dismount their bicycles.

The pedestrian-level restrictions on the Washington Avenue Bridge are expected to last for the rest of the school year, according to an e-mail sent to students Friday. “While Hennepin County has put repairs on the fast track, we can expect to live with the bridge restrictions for the rest of the school year,” Vice President for University Services Kathleen O’Brien said in the e-mail. Access to the outside parts of the bridge was restricted Aug. 21, when an engineering report voiced concerns about the bridgeâÄôs structural safety. And recently, University police started giving out $80 citations to people riding their bikes inside the 14-foot wide pedestrian area due to problems with congestion and safety. Though O’Brien wasn’t specific about repairs on the bridge, she is expected to receive a timetable for construction next week.