Bridge reopens

Cars can now cross the English Coulee where they haven’t for years.

Repairs on the Campus Road Bridge on the south side of campus were completed at the end of the fall semester. Chester Beltowski, The Dakota Student.

Crossing campus will be much easier for students, faculty and staff now that Campus Road Bridge is re-opened after detouring drivers for almost two years.

Campus Road Bridge is located on the south side of campus and connects the east and west portions of campus that are separated by the English Coulee.  Many people use the bridge to access parking lots, buildings and residence halls such as Johnstone, Fulton and Smith.

Because of construction, traffic has been deterred and campus roads were forced to change their direction with some roads becoming one-ways.

“With the bridge being out, we got to see how much traffic University Avenue received and vehicular and pedestrian traffic became more of a problem and it became difficult for people to go east and west across the cou

and it also deterred the bus route which complicated things,” UND Facilities Director Larry Zitzow said.

The bridge re-opened Dec. 9, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a speech by President Robert Kelley.

“This is a great holiday present for the university,” Kelley said in a UND newsletter. “This is an exciting day for UND, because this bridge has been out for a couple years now.”

The bridge was deteriorated to the point that it had settled and was not safe for travelers. Construction on the bridge took almost two years because of the process the university had to take in order to restore the bridge, Zitzow said.

The ND Department of Transportation examined the bridge and determined that it qualified for a replacement, and due to certain criteria, a large portion of the bridge could be funded by the DOT. However, UND is state property which made funding complicated. UND then had to pair up with the City of Grand Forks to finish the project.

Zitzow said construction on the bridge cost $1.2 million, but with help from the city and the DOT, UND only pai   d to reroute the utilities, which totaled around $200,000. Utility work included rerouting steam lines and communication wires.

UND student Amy Halvorson lived in Smith Hall when Campus Road Bridge, a bridge she used often, was closed.

“As a freshman, I had it all figured out, and then all of a sudden it was like a rug got pulled out from under me, and it was confusing,” Halvorson said. “But I’m glad for the residents of that hall now that they can use the road.”

Zitzow said that the re-opening should allow for safer travel on campus.

Ashley Marquis is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].