South Campus bridge opens for pedestrians and vehicles
- New bridge connecting East Campus with South Campus is intended to alleviate traffic on campus and increase safety for students.
- After a slight delay from its original October opening time, the bridge fully opened for vehicular traffic on Nov. 20.
Liberty University’s South Campus Bridge connecting East Campus with South Campus opened on Friday, Nov. 17 for pedestrians and Monday, Nov. 20 for vehicles.
Vice President of Major Construction Daniel Deter said the bridge is for use by both pedestrians and vehicles, as it contains a 14-foot passenger walkway for pedestrians to use that is out of the way of vehicular traffic on the road.
Light posts provide adequate lighting on both sides of the bridge to make sure the bridge is as safe as possible for both vehicles and pedestrians.
Deter said the bridge will help alleviate a lot of campus traffic in the mornings and afternoons.
“If the students gravitate towards it like I hope that they will, then it will really lighten up the traffic at the tunnel and provide a great connection to Wards Road and East Campus,” Deter said. “The overall goal is to lighten traffic on campus because less traffic on campus means it’s safer for students, and that’s the goal. We want students to be safe on and around campus.”
Deter said the bridge experienced a slight delay from its intended October opening, as Liberty was waiting for companies to finish the completion of the guardrails, but, apart from that, the rest of the project went along smoothly.
“Usually, when I don’t have to spend a lot of time watching a project, that’s a good thing because that means it’s kind of cooking on its own and there’s no problems for me to have to get involved with,” Deter said. “This has been one of my easier projects.”
In addition to the new bridge on campus, Deter said the new South Campus parking lot should be finished before the end of the semester, which will add 350 parking spots to South Campus.
“We know that there is parking pressure on South Campus, and so we are pushing to get that thing open as soon as possible,” Deter said.
The pressure to improve campus parking and transportation was evidenced by a heavy request from students to open the pedestrian pathway on the bridge when it appeared finished. Deter said this played into the decision to open the pedestrian portion of the bridge ahead of schedule on Friday.
“Students wanting to use the bridge is just confirming something that we already assumed, and, if they’re already ready to use it, then it just reaffirms our thinking that we are meeting a need and the bridge will help the students,” Deter said. “It’s a very fulfilling feeling that what we’re doing is helping the student body because our work is for the betterment of the student body. We don’t build things just to build things.”
Deter said it is great to see all of the hard work on a campus construction project finally pay off.
“One of the reasons that I like construction is because it’s very seldom that you ever do the same project twice,” Deter said. “Every project has its unique challenges. We spend a lot of hours getting the planning done and getting government approval, and I think it’s a great sense of accomplishment when you can bring a project into completion.”