UVU pedestrian bridge updated rendering

A rendering shows what a pedestrian bridge near Utah Valley University in Orem is anticipated to look like upon completion. 

Construction has begun on a pedestrian bridge that will span Interstate 15 near Utah Valley University that was originally expected to be open this past August.

“We are excited to get going,” said Rob Clayton, the director of the Utah Department of Transportation Region Three.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the bridge took place in June 2018. Since then, the site has mostly stayed untouched. At the time, the bridge was expected to cost $17 million and was touted as the longest, doubly curved, inverted Fink truss bridge in the world.

Both the budget, and the type of bridge that will span I-15, has evolved after UDOT discovered that the original design would have been complicated and costly.

“There were a lot of challenges and concerns they had at building this type of bridge,” said Geoff Dupaix, the senior communications manager for UDOT Region Three.

Instead, the bridge will incorporate design elements to make it look unique.

“It’s a more traditional design, one we are more familiar with and has been demonstrated successful,” Clayton said.

Crews needed railroad approval before they could begin construction. The change in design also delayed the project, as did the need to secure additional funding.

The bridge is being funded through $4 million from the Utah Transit Authority, $6 million from UVU and $20.7 million from UDOT.

When complete, the 1,000-foot bridge will link the Orem FrontRunner Station to UVU. It will include a 15-foot wide, partially enclosed walkway that will feature heating elements in the floor to allow for snow removal. It will be accessible to both pedestrians and cyclists, and will have elevators and staircases at either end.

UVU will have free parking on the bridge’s west side.

The majority of the construction work is not expected to impact traffic. I-15 is anticipated to briefly close at night while crews place bridge beams and set concrete. UDOT, which is overseeing construction, will provide two weeks’ notice about upcoming closures.

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