West Bank Plaza bike ramp to be improved

Yellow tape and barricades will guide bicyclists on the West Bank Plaza for the next few days while Facilities Management workers install a new bicycle ramp.
Construction began Tuesday for a concrete ramp that will replace the existing wooden structure, which leads down the steps by the west end of the Washington Avenue Bridge.
Factors such as rotting planks and extensive maintenance created the demand for a better structure.
“It seems like every year someone is repairing it,” said John Schiller, a construction foreman for Facilities Management.
For now, officials moved the existing ramp over slightly so bicyclists could still access the lower plaza during construction.
Facilities employees will also take this opportunity to repair the ramp’s rusty railings.
In anticipation of future plaza renovation, workers will separate the new ramp from the granite steps with tar paper so the ramp will be portable.
“The whole Mall is in pretty bad shape,” Schiller said.
Steve Sanders, project manager for Parking and Transportation Services, said the new structure will be a vast improvement over the old one.
“We’re going to get a lot of years of trouble-free maintenance,” Sanders said.
Weather permitting, construction will be complete by Friday and the new ramp should be open on Monday, Schiller said.

— Michelle Moriarity