Washington Avenue bridges to open

Paul Sand

Members of the University community by midweek will no longer need to look both ways when crossing Washington Avenue near the Mississippi River.

After nearly six months of congested single-lane traffic due to construction, the new pedestrian bridges connecting Northrop Mall with Coffman Memorial Union will open Wednesday morning.

Interim University President Robert Bruininks will open the 12-foot-wide bridges in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Bruininks will be joined by Marcus Mattison, who helped build the original bridges in 1940.

The new bridges are covered in stainless steel to match the nearby Weisman Art Museum, and are sloped in an attempt to preserve an unobstructed view from the mall area to the student union.

The bridges also have a snow and ice removal system, handicapped ramps and extra lighting.

All traffic lanes and the two bus stops there will again be open.