University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Update provided on Campus Road bridge closure

In March, the bridge spanning the English Coulee on Campus Road was closed to pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic. This action was taken after engineers inspected the bridge and determined it suffered an irreparable structural failure.

A bridge replacement plan is in progress with an anticipated completion date of late summer 2013.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) will provide federal highway funds for construction, and has stipulated that the bridge replacement be either a culvert-type crossing or structure, depending upon which is most cost effective. This determination will be made by NDDOT once engineers have evaluated alternatives and provided cost estimates for both. UND is responsible for engineering costs.

UND has received proposals for the engineering services, and is in the process of selecting the engineering firm. Because the English Coulee is a waterway controlled by several regulatory agencies, the bridge replacement project requires the engineers to provide information to the NDDOT which outlines the impact the project will have on the English Coulee. The Environmental Protection Agency has indicated the English Coulee is an “at-risk” waterway, suggesting its status as a wildlife habitat is marginal and UND must exercise care in performing work near the waterway which could potentially make its condition worse.

Once the various surveys and evaluations are completed, design can begin in earnest.

A temporary crossing for either pedestrian or motor vehicle traffic requires the same evaluation as a permanent structure, and is therefore cost prohibitive when compared to the inconvenience created by the need to utilize other pedestrian (Fox Bridge and Squires Bridge) or motor vehicle crossings (University Ave. and 6th Ave.).

-- Jen Rogers, special projects assistant to the VPFO.

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