Bridge construction to continue until early October

Dan Haugen

Despite continued construction and the annual influx of students for the first day of classes, late afternoon traffic along Washington Avenue appeared to flow without many major delays Tuesday.

“It seems like a little worse than last year,” said Campus Connector driver Douglas Payne of the opening day commute.

In April, Washington Avenue shrunk to just two lanes in front of Northrop Mall, as workers began replacing the pair of pedestrian bridges. The structures will soon connect the mall to the Coffman Union plaza.

Although the bridges’ sleek skeletons already curve across the avenue, construction – and lane closures – will continue until early October.

Facilities Management spokesman Tim Busse said the project is only slightly behind schedule.

“If Coffman was open, there would be a huge push to get them open,” he said. “But until then, there’s not enough foot traffic in the area to make the bridges’ completion critical.”

In the meantime, Busse recommended that commuters aim for alternate routes – such as Huron Boulevard or University Avenue.